Shelterbelt Theatre is Omaha's home for new plays. Our mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment in which to focus the development of original work and to provide for the practical education of writers, performing artists, creative and technical staff, and the general public in the art and science of moving an idea from the mind to the stage.
The objective of the Shelterbelt Theater is to develop, workshop and produce new works by local and national playwrights. We love to present world premiere work that engages and inspires our audience. We are rooted in the belief that theater can make a difference and change the world, no matter how big the stage.
We have a diverse reading committee dedicated to finding scripts that fulfill our mission, and inspire and entertain our audience.
We host an annual reading series, Before the Boards with four slots that offer local playwrights an opportunity to hear their play in front of a live audience in a staged reading, before it hits a full production. From one-acts to slam poetry, imagination is the only limit.
SHELTERBELT THEATRE COMPANY
Executive Director, Print Media Director | Roxanne Wach
Artistic Director | Elizabeth Thompson
Secretary, Print Media Specialist | Katie Cameron
Director of Finance | Dan Wach
Technical Director | Josh Mullady
Development | Ellen Struve
Production Manager | Jayma Smay
Shannon Smay, Beau Fisher | Board Members
Krista Freimuth | Board Member, Volunteer Coordinator
It all started in 1993 when Scott Working, a local Omaha playwright, brought his script, V OF GEESE, through the doors of what was then known as Kilgore's, a local coffee shop and lounge. Scott walked up to the manager and asked a simple question: "Have you ever thought about doing a
play here?" It was this question that piqued the interest of the manager and in turn, allowed Scott to produce his play at Kilgore's. Scott, along with
Alicia McGarr, L. Scott Blankenship and Ken Jacobs opened V OF GEESE in October of 1993 and Shelterbelt Theatre was born.
WHAT THE HECK IS A SHELTERBELT?
Funny you should ask. A shelterbelt is a long row trees (notice our logo?) that protects a farmer's homestead, as well as his family. These four founding members wanted a place where an artist could get away from the negative aspects of modern theatre and take refuge in a more healthy, less restrictive environment. A place that incubates talent and allows them to grow. A place that protects, like a row of strong trees.
The Shelterbelt's strength is the roots it has planted in this community. Drawing on the talents of local writers, actors, directors, musicians, artists, and technicians we have been able to carve a unique niche in the Omaha theatre scene. From day one, it has been a labor of love. When you cut a tree in half you can see it's rings of service inside, one ring for each season of growth and change, each a tribute to life and endurance. The Shelterbelt now has 24 rings and is growing stronger!