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Now Playing:
"A Perfect Murder" by Peter James
Barter Theatre, The State Theatre of Virginia, in Abingdon, VA
September 8 - November 13, 2016
Jill is happy to be back in Abingdon to play the lead in this British play the theatre described as, "It's a night for everyone, with horror, intrigue, mystery, and yet plenty of comedy."
Reviewer Robert McKinney writes:  "Jill Anderson, a well-seasoned actress who hasn't gotten nearly enough lead roles at Barter, is absolutely mesmerizing as Joan Smiley, a number-one bitch par excellence who, with her cab-driver boyfriend Don Kirk (Nick Piper), plans to do in her long-suffering husband Victor..."
Learn more at the theatre's web site.  Click here.

Jill with Nicholas Piper who plays her cab-driver boyfriend  in "A Perfect Murder"

Ongoing Project:
48 STARS
In collaboration with Shawn Schmidt, Jill acts as researcher, interviewer, writer and musical director for a documentary film, 48 STARS. 

"From Harlem to Honolulu, the 48 STARS documentary gathers epic stories. Stories that explore the WWII era through the eyes of the people who lived it: veterans, civilians, participants, resisters. From stories of deadly combat to stories of revolutionary inspiration, 48 STARS finds the unexpected revelation, the poignant moment - penetrating to the heart of each human story."

Watch this site for more details....

Recently...

 

LUCY GAYHEART: 

Gallery 1516
1516 Leavenworth, Omaha
June 10, 11, 12, 2016

Lucy Gayheart, Willa Cather's 11th novel, was published in 1935.  It tells the moving tale of a Midwestern girl's coming of age in Chicago. Winsome Lucy leaves her midwestern home to study piano in the big city and finds, unexpectedly, the very first love of her young life in a middle-aged opera star. The story is full of lyricism, passion, humor, tragedy, discovery and SO MUCH beautiful language! This dramatized staged reading is interspersed with gorgeous Schubert lieder sung by Chicago Baritone Evan Kaiser. Jill is the reader, narrating as well as taking on the persona of many characters including Lucy herself. This exquisite staged reading received a standing ovation when it premiered at the 2015 Willa Cather Conference. We are delighted to reprise it for Gallery 1516 as part of their Nebraska Landscapes event!

48 Stars Fundraiser

Saturday, May 21st
6pm to 9pm
OM Center (Old Market) 1216 Howard Street
Omaha, Nebraska

At this fund raising event, guests enjoyed:

  • A rare display of antique flags

  • Clothing display of WWII era military and domestic attire

  • Preview of clips from the  film

  • A glimpse into our mission and creative process

  • Grand Finale? - A live performance by three of Omaha's finest singers – Camille Metoyer Moten, Erika Hall and Jill   Anderson – who brought the WWII times to life with Swing era hits!

  • Wine and hors d'oeuvres

Be a part of history in the making! Support the preservation of these epic true stories that illuminate the human condition. Be a part of 48 STARS!

 




The Christians by Lucas Hnath
Blue Barn Theatre, Omaha  
March 24 - April 17
 
Jill portrays the pastor's wife in this penetrating drama set in a modern American megachurch.  She is part of a stellar ensemble featuring Anthony Clark-Kaczmarek, Bill Hutson, Kaitlyn McClincy, and Raydell Cordell III.  The production is directed by Susan Clement-Toberer. 

"Twenty years ago, Pastor Paul's church was nothing more than a modest storefront. Now he presides over a congregation of thousands, with classrooms for Sunday School, a coffee shop in the lobby, and a baptismal font as big as a swimming pool. Today should be a day of celebration. But Paul is about to preach a sermon that will shake the foundations of his church's belief. A big-little play about faith in America—and the trouble with changing your mind.""


Blue Barn Theater, 10th and Pacific
 Nov. Nov. 27 - Dec. 20, 2015
 Little Nelly's Naughty Noel by Tim Siragusa with songs by Jill Anderson
Back Back by popular demand!!  Little Nelly's Naughty Noel is a Blue Barn perversion of all we hold dear, at that holliest, jolliest time of year!  With a mad gang of varmints, both bawdy and bold, the play takes a wild woolly romp through Nebraskee of old.  In an evening that can be described as "Willa Cather on crack," or The Gift of the Magi laid out on a rack!  
Jill will co-direct with Susan Clement-Toberer.

Visit the Blue Barn website, www.bluebarn.org, for reservations and more information.

November and December - The 2015 Joslyn Castle Literary Festival!
Dickens at the Castle
A Celebration of the Life and Literature of Charles Dickens, creator of A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations.
The Joslyn Castle Literary Festival returns for its 5th year, bringing great literature to Omaha once again with the work of iconic Victorian social satirist, Charles Dickens.

 

Amid the soot and misery of Industrial Revolution London, one writer emerged as a powerful voice of his era.  Charles Dickens, literary great of Victorian England, came forth with revolutionary zeal to create vivid characters and indelible stories that remain classics to this day – A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, David Copperfield– to name a few.  Informed by his own harrowing experiences as a child laborer in a boot blacking factory, Dickens had special insight into the plight of the destitute.  But instead of stridently decrying miserable conditions, he transformed his outrage into memorable stories filled with keen satire, delightful humor and penetrating insight.  His fascinating characters circulate in a world where a sudden change of fortune can catapult one to the top or plunge one to the depths of the social strata in the blink of an eye. and through his exciting stories, he comments brilliantly on the disparity and injustice of the class system.  His themes are still relevant today.  Join us for an exploration of all that made Dickens a literary giant!

Now in its fifth year, the Joslyn Castle Literary Festival celebrates and explores the work of a featured author through drama, discussion, and musical performances.  Artistic Director of the festival, Jill Anderson, is actively working with scholars, actors, and musicians to create a series of events that are sure to educate and entertain guests.  The Literary Festival will run from November 14 – 18 and December 12 and 13, 2015.

Dickens was selected as the author for this year, in celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Omaha Community Playhouse and their 40 year run of A Christmas Carol.  Sarah Joslyn was one of the earliest supporters of the Omaha Community Playhouse.  Sarah provided the land where the first playhouse was built.

FESTIVAL EVENTS

DRAMA
A CHRISTMAS CAROL

November 14-18

Acclaimed actor John Hardy takes on the formidable task of portraying not one but ALL the characters of Dickens' holiday classic A Christmas Carol.  Staged in the handsome Castle library, this tour-de-force performance promises to deliver the story in a way you've never imagined.  As the Albuquerque Journal rhapsodized, Hardy's Christmas Carol is:  “.....a stunning work of theatrical virtuosity. Run to see this; take the whole family. You will be transfixed from the first moment.” 


POST-SHOW PANEL DISCUSSION  
A CHRISTMAS CAROL FROM THE PAGE TO THE STAGE

November 14

Join us after our opening night show to hear an illustrious group of theatre artists and scholars dissect the act of making a literary classic into electifying theatre.  Join Susie Baer Collins- former Omaha Community Playhouse director, John Hardy and Jerry Longe- Scrooges of different productions, David Peterson- UNO English Professor, and Jill Anderson- Panel Moderator and Joslyn Castle Literary Festival Artistic Director for this grand event.  These panelists will contrast two vastly different interpretations of the same story and through their words the audience will be let in on the secrets of their process in taking classic literature from the page to the stage!   


PRE -SHOW LECTURE WITH DAVID PETERSON
TIM'S NOT SO TINY – WHY DICKENS' CHRISTMAS CAROL STILL MATTERS TO AMERICA

November 18

From New York to Seattle, Memphis to Minneapolis, Atlanta to Omaha, audiences since at least the 1970s have annually flocked to American theaters to enjoy adaptations of Dicken’s Christmas classic. Join Dr. David Peterson, Associate Professor of English at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, to explore some of the cultural, social, and political reasons why the story and its numerous theatrical adaptations continue to resonate with American audiences.  


MUSICAL EVENT
CAROLS AT THE CASTLE – THE WORLD OF DICKENS IN SONG
December 12 and 13

Join Hal France, Jill Anderson, Curt Isaacson and Alex Himan for an evening of music and words from the time of Charles Dickens!  The first act takes you from the Parlor to the Pub as it explores the types of music popular in Victorian England. From hilariously bawdy Music Hall fare to the refined parlor songs of the upper class to the folk songs tracing back to even earlier days,  this collection of tunes will enchant, delight and then send you off to enjoy your Wassail and Christmas cookies!  Return for a second act of the Christmas classics that came to life during the Victorian age – beloved songs such as “The Holly and the Ivy,” “O Come, O Come Immanuel,”“Coventry Carol” and  “Bring a Torch Jeannette, Isabella.”  All of this fabulous music will be interlaced with juicy excerpts from Dickens' own writing. No better way to celebrate the season than to immerse yourself in the glorious sounds of Dickens' England! 


 

For additional information, please call 402.595.2199.

k by popular demand!! Little Nelly's Naughty Noël is a Blue Barn perversion of all we hold dear, at that holliest, jolliest time of the year! With a mad gang of varmints both bawdy and bold, the play takes a wild, woolly romp through Nebraskee of old in an evening that can be described as "Willa Cather on crack" or "The Gift of the Magi" laid out on a rack!

Back by popular demand!! Little Nelly's Naughty Noël is a Blue Barn perversion of all we hold dear, at that holliest, jolliest time of the year! With a mad gang of varmints both bawdy and bold, the play takes a wild, woolly romp through Nebraskee of old in an evening that can be described as "Willa Cather on crack" or "The Gt of the Magi" laid out on a rack!


Grand Opening of Blue Barn Theatre in its new location!
Jill is thrilled to be a part of the creative teams for the first two productions in the Blue Barn Theatre's exciting new space at 10th and Pacific.  Jill is costuming the first show, The Grown-Up by Jordan Harrison.  In November, Jill will be assistant director for Little Nelly's Naughty Noel, by Tim Siragusa with songs by Jill.

September 24 - October 18:   The Grown-Up by Jordan Harrison
Kai is a ten-year-old boy at his grandfather’s knee listening to a story of a magic doorknob. Jump 15 years and he is a young television writer weathering the humiliations of the Hollywood rat race. Jump in time again, and he and his future husband watch the caterer streak through their wedding reception. Has Kai run into powerful magic or has he just realized the breakneck speed of an ordinary life and what he might have missed? A funny and honest tale about living in the moment.


Holiday Lights
An Evening of One Acts at the Joslyn Castle
December 2014, Brigit St. Brigit Theatre Company
In December of 2014, Jill acted with Brigit St. Brigit Theatre Company in their collection of short plays, Holiday Lights.  Jill played the lead role of "Sister" in a hilarious adaptation of Eudora Welty's 1940s comedic classic "Why I Live at the P.O."  Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory" and Florence Gibson MacDonald's  "A Recipe for Tomato Butter" completed the well-received evening of theatre at Omaha's historic Joslyn Castle.

 

Shadows at the Castle: Bram Stoker's Dark Vision
Joslyn Castle Literary Festival, October 17 to November 1, 2014

In October of 2014, Jill, in collaboration with Joslyn Castle Trust produced her fourth annual Joslyn Castle Literary Festival.  Through five events, guests explored the life and literature of Bram Stoker, creator of the great horror novel "Dracula"! 

Bram Stoker's great horror masterpiece, Dracula, first hit the world in 1897 against a backdrop of late-Victorian industry and invention, burgeoning medical and scientific advancement, and volcanic social change. It is a wild story of vampirism, romance, murky  folklore, dark gothicism and strange science fiction that has captivated the human imagination with unrelenting fervor since its first publication, spawning over 700 films and never going out of print. What about this dark tale has held our fascination for so long? How was Stoker's story a window into his own time, and how is it still pertinent today? This year, the Joslyn Castle Literary Festival will explore these questions and many more through drama, lecture, musical performance, film, an exhibit by the Durham Museum at the Castle, and a Halloween night Vampyre Ball! 

 

 

Events of the Festival

 

Movie Night   Nosferatu on the Green   October 17 at 7 pm

Join us on the lawn of Joslyn Castle amidst the glow of tiki torches and fire pits (bring your blankets and lawn chairs) to watch the first film adaptation of Dracula - F.W. Murnau's eerie 1922 silent movie, Nosferatu, starring the unforgettable Max Schreck as the ominous count.  Enjoy autumnal concessions as host David Peterson, UNO Professor of English, acts as our guide through the history of the Dracula story as told on stage and screen. 

Exhibit - Durham Museum at the Castle: Vampires and Victorians   Open 10/23 thru 11/1, 10 am to 3 pm Daily
Come enjoy rarely-seen treasures from the deep vaults of the Durham Museum and private collections! See historic artifacts and images relating to Victorian funerary customs, the horror genre, Transylvanian folk art and lore, the changing role of the Victorian woman, and vampirism in pop culture!

 

Drama Duet    October 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30 at 7 pm
"Dracula: The Journal of Jonathan Harker "- Jim Helsinger's fiercely paced and tautly structured one-man adaptation of Dracula is a masterpiece of invention.  Jonathan Harker has lived a placid domestic life for years but when he ascends his attic stairs to break the seal on his dusty journal of past experiences, he is swept into the heart of his harrowing tale of supernatural terror! Kirk Koczanowkski, who thrilled festival audiences with his brilliant portrayal of Oscar Wilde in 2012 returns for this one-man theatrical tour de force - a completely unique telling of this time-honored classic.
The Jewel of Seven Stars -- Laura Leininger and her crew draw the audience into a story of mystery and horror in readings inspired by the Stoker 1903 novel about all things Egyptian and occult. Collector of Egyptian antiquities, Abel Trelawny invites his guests to witness a Great Experiment: an ancient Egyptian religious ritual that will resurrect the corpse of Queen Tera!! Don't miss this brand new adaptation of Stoker's stylish and suspenseful mummy tale!  

Double Lecture - October 27 & 28, 6 pm
The Man Behind the Monster 
 On the 1891 census, Bram Stoker listed his occupations as: Barrister, Theatrical Manager, Author.   A self-identified barrister, who supported his family through his job as the manager for the most famous theatrical group in Britain, but is best known today as the author of arguably the most famous and influential vampire novel ever written. But who was Bram Stoker?  Discover the enigmatic man behind the literary monster in this multi-media presentation by UNO Associate English Professor LB Buchelt, exploring the literature, life and times of Bram Stoker.
Life and Afterlife in Romanian Mytholo
gy
Though the novel Dracula entered the spotlight over a century ago, Transylvania, the "land beyond the forest," still entices visitors with its elaborate folklore and superstitions, ethereal locations, and people who still adhere to millennial traditions. Join George Mihai, Transylvanian native and Romanian cultural studies expert, for a journey into this mystical setting, explore the life and times of the real-life Dracula, marvel at photo imagery of this beautiful land, hear of the deeply rooted superstitions that still exist in modern day Romania and discover how reality can be stranger than fiction.

Vampyre Ball     October 31st at 7 pm
The Vampyre Ball will be the party to end all parties this Halloween. Enjoy the night in the perfectly crenellated confines of Joslyn Castle, surrounded by a bevy of vampire hosts and hostesses, tarot and palm readings, live performance, readings from the spookiest Bram Lit, delectable food, fire dancing and a costume contest! Come to this divine dance party for the un-dead!  What could be more fun?

Music of the Unknown    November 1st at 7 pm
Don't fear it...hear it, the music of the unknown!  Join Music Director Hal France, vocalists Jill Anderson, Sam Swerczek and Terry Hodges, and cellist Dave Downing for a chamber performance of music and words from Stoker's era and beyond exploring the world of ghosts, mesmerism, folklore, dark doings, visiting angels and spirits from another realm! As Dracula himself said:  The children of the night, what music they make!     



Heart's Desire - Words and Music from the Age of Shakespeare

Saturday, February 8, 2014
7pm at Bancroft Street Market, 2702 South 10th Street: purchase tickets at door.
Tuesday, February 11
7pm at Joslyn Castle, 3902 Davenport Street: purchase tickets online at www.joslyncastle.com or call 402-595-2199 

Celebrate Valentine's Day Elizabethan style with a romantic journey back in time!

For two evenings in February, lutenist Kenneth Be, vocalist Amanda DeBoer and actress Jill Anderson will present a program of music and Shakespearean monologues exploring the many facets of love. These three seasoned performers will deliver authentic words and sounds of 16th Century England - a rare treat to find in Omaha and a unique way to celebrate that most romantic of holidays. 

Among the many offerings are music by John Dowland -England's most famous composer of lute music during Shakespeare's time; monologues from such plays as Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, and Othello; and beautiful songs of the era sung in the simple and expressive style of early music. 

 

 

 

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PERFORMANCE NOTES:

Feb. 23, 3pm:  Celtic Cabaret will be part of a College of St. Mary concert at Trinity Cathedral
March 2,  3pm:   Celtic Cabaret in Mound City, MO.
March 9,  2pm:   Celtic Cabaret in Plainview NE
March 11, 7:30 pm:  Celtic Cabaret at Hastings College in Hastings,NE
March 12,  Celtic Cabaret at Central City Performing Arts Center, Central City, NE
April 12th,  Jill performs her one-woman show "Bronte" in Albion, NE


2013-2014

Lied Center Arts Across Nebraska "Celtic Cabaret" Tour!
Jill has been touring outstate Nebraska performing her Irish Music concert, "Celtic Cabaret."  Along with public performances for the communities, she will also be performing in the schools and conducting workshops with students.  Here are the communities and dates she will be visiting:
Nebraska City, Kimmel Orchards, Sunday October 6, 2013, 12 noon
Scottsbluff, NE, Tuesday December 17, 2013, 7:30 pm
Sidney, NE, Wednesday December 18, 2013, 7 pm
Fremont, NE, Friday January 17, 2014 time TBA
Hastings, NE, Tuesday March 11, 2014, time TBA
Central City, NE, Wednesday March 12, 2014 time TBA


2013
"Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street"
Lawrence Arts Center
940 New Hampshire Street
Lawrence, KS
October 25 - November 2, 2013
If "God of Carnage" isn't enough carnage for your taste, try "Sweeney Todd."  The macabre Sondheim masterpiece strikes again at Halloween time for this limited, six-night run.  Jill and Chicago actor Mark Rector star as that twisted pair of conspirators, Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney Todd.  Pay a visit to Jill's Sweeney Todd gallery from her last production of this ghastly musical at Barter Theatre in 2008.  You can learn more about the current production at the Lawrence Arts Center website, www.lawrenceartscenter.org/.     Critical reaction to the Lawrence production and Jill's performance was very good:
In the Lawrence Pitch,  critic Liz Cook wrote: 
"...the show unequivocally belongs to Jill Anderson, whose Mrs. Lovett is equal parts tender matriarch and deranged pragmatist. Anderson plays the backstabbing baker as a comic queen, riffing in a pinched Cockney air while she commands the stage with her commitment and precision. From her auspicious entrance in "The Worst Pies in London" to Act 2's "By the Sea," the actress infuses each song with the energy and specificity that Sondheim's masterwork demands."
 Click here to see full review.


"God of Carnage"
Blue Barn Theatre
September 26 through October 18, 2013
Jill joins a stellar cast that includes Omaha favorites Jerry Longe, Theresa Sindelar, and Ablan Roblin under the direction of Susan Clement Toberer to kick off the Bluebarn's exciting 25th season.  The play is a wild and unpredictable comedy which illustrates what happens when two "civilized" couples meet to resolve an incident involving a playground altercation between their sons.  Read what the New York Times had to say about the original Broadway production of this explosive piece of theatre. 
God of Carnage ... "definitely delivers the cathartic release of watching other people's marriages go boom. A study in the tension between civilized surface and savage instinct, this play (which recently won the Olivier Award in London for best new comedy) is itself a satisfyingly primitive entertainment with an intellectual veneer." 

For more information about BlueBarn's productions, go to the theatre's website, www.bluebarn.org.  


"Jazz Age at The Castle: F. Scott Fitzgerald"

 Joslyn Castle,
July 27 through August 10, 2013
For the third year running, Jill will co-produce a summer literary Festival with Joslyn Castle, this time about the famous Roaring 20s author and bon vivant, F. Scott Fitzgerald, creator of such classics as "The Great Gatsby" and "This Side of Paradise."  

The 1920s jazz age was a time of huge cultural change and a brand new approach to life.  No literary figure epitomizes the era more completely than F Scott Fitzgerald with his tales of brazen flappers and flaming youth.  He captured vividly an explosive time in American history when a post-war surge of youthful energy and prosperity reinvigorated the country in new and startling ways.  It was a time of jazz, gin, wild parties and a celebratory rejection of old manners and mores.  Beyond the literary work of Fitzgerald, there are the biographical stories of his stormy marriage to the original flapper, the beautiful, impulsive and mentally unstable Zelda Sayre; his artistic rivalry and friendship with Ernest Hemingway; and his inclusion in a cadre of some of the greatest artists of the day living as expatriates in Paris.  Fitzgerald was considered the first modern writer, and his voice gave expression to a generation that insisted on living large, defying tradition, and boldly changing the direction of life in the twentieth century. 

Stimulating events are planned for this year's literary festival.  

  • "Scott and Zelda: Drama Duet" -- This year's drama event features not one but two one-person plays on the same night!  Audiences trade theatres at halftime to hear the other side of the story.
  • "Gatsby Goes to the Opera" -- Another exciting musical collaboration with Opera Omaha  involves selections from John Harbison's 1999 opera based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel. 
  • "The Speakeasy" - This wild evening of dance, gorgeous flappers, drinks, music and frivolity rounds out the festival in a colorful celebration of all that made the 20s roar!  Performance and live readings add to the fun.
  • "Wasn't Everyone a Flapper?" A 1920s Fashion Adventure.  Barbara Trout, textiles professor from UNL will conduct a multimedia exploration of Jazz Age fashion trends.
  • "Jazz Age Cinema" - Come join us on the lawn of the Castle to enjoy a movie under the stars.  The 1974 Robert Redford and Mia Farrow "Great Gatsby" will be projected right on the exterior of the Castle!
  • "Joslyn Castle Classic Car Show" - What did Scott and Zelda drive?  Automobiles of the 20s are the focus of this year's car show.
  • Durham Exhibit - The entire Castle will be decked out with beautiful and fascinating authentic 1920s objects and artifacts provided by Durham Museum.

 



 

 

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