Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 12, 1997)
Play keeps young AIDS victim’s memory living
By Liza Holtmeier
With the sagacity of a wise man
and the energy of an 8-year-old,
Benjamin created worlds out of his
drawings, worlds where he could
escape the reality of being HIV
For a while.
Benjamin, a hemophiliac, died
of AIDS-related complications in
1987. His father, David Saar,
immortalized him in “The Yellow
Boat,” a play the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln chapter of
Students for Camp Heartland will
present this week.
The production, co-sponsored
by the UNL Department of Theatre
Arts and Dance, will open Thursday
at 7 p.m. at the WSI Hall, 1430 N.
10th St. All proceeds from the show
will benefit Camp Heartland and
the Nebraska AIDS Project.
Eva Nekovar, the show’s pro
ducer and the president of UNL’s
Students for Camp Heartland,
decided to mount a production of
the play last spring during her
Children’s Theater class.
“This is the first play I’ve ever
said. “I wanted to see the play per
formed here and to help with fund
raising for Camp Heartland.”
Camp Heartland is the nation’s
largest summer camp program
devoted to the needs of children
impacted by HIV/AIDS. Through
charitable donations, the project
subsidizes 100 percent of the trans
portation and camp costs for the
children. Last summer, Camp
Heartland held three one-week
long camps, two in a St. Louis sub
urb and one in Malibu, Calif.
Nekovar worked as a counselor
at the St. Louis camps.
“It’s the best thing I’ve ever
done in my entire life,” Nekovar
said. “These children are amazing.
They’re adults because they’ve
experienced so much in their lives,”
Bolstered by her experiences
with Camp Heartland, Nekovar
returned to Lincoln determined to
see the production to fruition.
She approached Timothy
Scholl, director of UNL’s Theatrix
season, to direct the show.
“This is my type of play,” Scholl
said. “It has a story to tell, and it
has a unique way of telling it.
Though it’s theater for young
adults, it’s not just for kids. It’s for
older people and everyone in
Together, Nekovar and Scholl
cast the play with UNL students
and a high school student.
They chose Jude Hickey, a
junior theater arts major, to play
“It’s been challenging to play an
8-year-old who is also a hemophili
ac and HIV-positive,” Hickey said.
“I can’t manipulate the audience. I
have to just be.”
Scholl said subtlety was also the
key in his directing.
me nrst instinct is to approach
(the play) differently because it
deals with children,” Scholl said.
“But this play is not about death.
It’s a celebration of life. Benjamin
has lived more in his eight years,
four months and 29 days than I have
in my 28 years.”
Nekovar also emphasized the
show’s celebratory tone.
“You will be bawling your eyes
out and then, two seconds later, the
funniest things happen,” Nekovar
said. “This pl«y is not about
Benjamin’s death. We want you to
walk out with a smile on your face.”
“The Yellow Boat” runs
Thursday through Sunday at 7 p.m.
and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the WSI
Hall, 1430 N. 1091 St. Tickets are
$5, and a half-hour discussion will
follow each performance.
ACTORS STEPHANIE DEAVER (from left), Heather Harrison, Jude Hickey,
Charlie Derr, Seth Swink and Anders Ukinski perform “The Yellow Boat” in
the WSI Hall Tuesday.,
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‘User-friendly’ opera opens tonight
By Liza Holtmeier
- 4 Opera Omaha opens its season
tonight with “Don Pasquale,” a
comic opera of mistaken identities
by Gaetano Donizetti.
The opera begins with Don
Pasquale, a rich old bachelor,
thwarting his young nephew’s plans
to marry Norina, a lovely widow.
Pasquale then masterminds his own
wedding to a youthful beauty.
Norina seeks revenge by dressing in
disguise and pretending to wed
Pasquale. She then proceeds to
make his life miserable. Pasquale
eagerly accepts the suggestion of an
annulment, and his nephew gallant
ly offers to wed Norina instead.
Hal France, conductor and
Opera Omaha’s artistic director,
said the opera continuedtheepnipa
“I think this is a very user
friendly season,” France said. (This
opera) is a very simple and lovely
comedy taken to a higher level. It’s a
great introduction to the art form.”
Liesl Jeffrey, Opera Omaha’s
marketing director, says the atmos
phere of the Rose Blumkin
Performing Arts Center, where the
opera is performed, will add to the
“The Rose is a very intimate set
ting,” Jeffrey said. “The back seats
are very close to the stage. Since the
opera is sung in English, the audi
ence should feel a strong connection
France added that Opera
Omaha’s production of “Don
Pasquale” was different because it
is set in the American Old West.
Opera Omaha decided to change
the setting after France saw a similar
production with sets by David
Gately at the Chautauqua Opera in
New York. Opera Omaha hired
Gately to stage-manage its show.
“I find the set to be wonderfully
refreshing,” France said. “It fits into
the theme we started with ‘Opera
Goes West,’ and the idea of opera’s
American roots. The opera is a
whimsical finale to that idea.”
“Don Pasquale” runs Wednesday
and Friday at 7:30 p.m. and at 2 p.m.
Sunday at the Rose Blumkin
Performing Arts Theater. Single
tickets run from $10 to $50, but stu
dents receive a 10 percent discount.
For reservations, call (402) 346
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Travolta, Cage come to video in ‘Face/OfF
By Gerry Beltz
This wasn’t exactly the best week
for new releases, but at least one
decent film was in the bunch, as was
a straight-to-video Disney flick sure
to please the kiddies while the adults
wrap the presents and stuff the
turkey. The pick of the week is a
comedy and was chosen for the
recent “retro-flicks” season spon
sored by the Douglas Theatre Co. All
titles were released on Tuesday.
“Face/Off” (rated R) - Director
John Woo (“Broken Arrow”) once
again brings his wild style of direct
ing into play with this action-junkie
FBI agent Sean Archer switches
places with terrorist Castor Troy
(Nicolas Cage) through an experi
mental technique where their faces
are literally removed from the skull
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and switched. However, when Troy
comes out of his coma and assumes
Archer’s identity* the real ride
Realistic? Not a chance. Lots of
fun? Absolutely. “Face/Off” is the
film to get this weekend.
“Gone Fishin’” (PG-13) - Ugh.
I’ve had vaccinations that lasted
longer than this one did at the box
Joe and Gus (Joe Pesci and
Danny Glover) are a couple of bud
dies who go on a fishing trip, but end
up facing one disaster after another,
often with rather cbmedic results.
The plot and script are thin, but
the chemistry between Pesci and
Glover is pretty good. Flip a coin.
“Beauty and the Beast: The
Enchanted Christmas” (all ages) -
Hey, Disney didn’t have to try to get
Robin Williams back for this one;
maybe it has a chance of succeeding!
The whole gang is back, though
for some reason are back in their
original forms of clocks and what
not. Our antagonist this time
around? An evil pipe organ, voiced
by Tim Curry.
The kids will like it. Isn’t that a
good enough reason to rent it?
PICK OF THE WEEK - With all
the classic films that have been run
ning through Lincoln over the past
four weeks, it would only seem nat
ural to go pick up “Dead Men Don’t
* Steve Martin plays Rigby
Reardon, a gumshoe on the case of a
missing cheese maker, and along the
way (through some wonderful edit
ing and splicing) he is helped - and
hindered - in his pursuits by the
likes of Humphrey Bogart, Charles
Laughton and Lana Turner.
The film is an absolute riot, and
also stars Rachel Ward and Carl
Reiner, who directed the film.
Check it out.
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