(Omaha) — A special musical production is coming to Omaha for a weekend of performances.
Beginning July 1 and continuing through July 3, artists from area high schools and the University of Nebraska at Omaha will work together to show FAME the Musical. Based on the movie and TV series of the same title, FAME the Musical tells the story of students at the High School of the Performing Arts in New York. Speaking on KMA’s “Morning Show,” UNO Director of Musical Theater Hal France said the musical is a deep story of self-discovery.
“Try to come and see the show, it’s going to be really exceptional,” France said. “It’s about the aspirations of young people who aspire to be involved in the arts. So, dance, drama and theater are the three sectors of students in which the cast enters. It’s a story that is very closely tied to the story of the young people who are in the show.”
The musical features different music from the 1980s cinematic play, but includes the hit theme song. In addition to learning the cornerstones of the performing arts, students learn more about their own qualities and character.
FAME the Musical is the centerpiece of 46 Omaha public school high school students who worked in conjunction with the UNO College of Communications, Fine Arts and Media, UNO School of the Arts and Theater. France says it is wonderful to see the collaboration between the UN and PAHO materialize in a spectacular performance.
“It started about a year ago,” France said. “We started talking about working together for a summer musical, which is a tradition in Omaha public schools. We wanted to add our resources to the project, and our resources are extensive in terms of facilities, teachers and also a technical theatre. It’s a wonderful combination of people working together.
The weekend performance also marks the first act of the UN Summer Musical Theater Academy. Officially launched in June, the SMTA strives to offer students from PAHO and the region the opportunity to showcase their talents with the help of the UN. As well as showcasing local talent, France says the SMTA can also show the different possibilities for students considering their next stage in life.
“We’re just building ourselves up,” France said. “And so having these young people in our facilities last month, the energy has been tremendous. They have been able to see parts of campus and meet people at the university. It’s just an orientation towards a different way of looking at the things and jump to the next stage of your life.”
The program of performances begins Friday at 7:30 p.m., followed by a performance on Saturday at 2:00 p.m., both taking place at the Weber Fine Arts Building Theater at the UN. On Sunday, the troupe will perform at the newly completed Gene Leahy Mall performance pavilion at 8:30 p.m. All performances are free and open to the public. To learn more about the UN SMTA program, contact UN Musical Theater Director Hal France at [email protected] You can listen to the full interview below.