A summer staple event in Omaha kicks off Thursday night. Shakespeare on the Green hosts a performance of "The Tempest" in Elmwood Park.
Crews and actors have been preparing for that show and "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)." And Artistic director Vincent Carlson-Brown says it's time to show Omaha what all their hard work was for.
"We want to share our love of Shakespeare through a celebration of Shakespeare's words," he said. "We want you to bring the family. We want you to bring a picnic. You can buy things in Finder's Towne Square, souvenirs and food. It's a really community-event and it's high-quality theatre in Elmwood Park."
Carlson-Brown says a new set is built every year, and it stays in Elmwood Park throughout the multiple weeks of the shows. This year, he says the actors have been calling the acting-space a "jungle gym."
"There's a lot of things both in the trap and over the wave and on the ramp and through the grid," he said. "The set is really interesting and we hope to make it both an art installation in and of itself but also a backdrop for our performances of 'Tempest' and 'Complete Works.'"
For actors and crew members, it's all about showcasing art while reaching out to the audience as well.
"Shakespeare for me speaks to what makes us a community," Carlson-Brown said. "The rage, the passions, the terror, the joy, the frolic, the entertainment of Shakespeare's characters-- that's something we can relate to and it's relevant to everybody in a contemporary society."
"The Tempest" will be the first show performed at Elmwood Park on June 19th. "Complete Works" runs the weekend of the 26th. "Tempest" runs again on July 1st, 3rd and 6th, and "Complete Works" is set for July 2nd and 5th.
Admission is free, but donations will be accepted for the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival.