(Omaha) — A special musical production is coming to Omaha for a weekend of performances.
Starting July 1 and wrapping up on July 3, performers from area high schools and the University of Nebraska Omaha will be working together to show FAME The Musical. Based on the film and television series with the same title, FAME The Musical tells the story of students at New York’s High School of the Performing Arts. Speaking on the KMA “Morning Show,” UNO Music Theatre Director Hal France says the musical is a profound story of self-discovery.
“Try to come out and see the show, it’s going to be really outstanding,” said France. “It’s about the aspirations of young people aspiring to be involved in the arts. So dance, drama, and acting are the three sectors of students the cast breaks into. It’s a storyline that relates very closely to the storyline of the young people that are in the show.”
The musical features different music from the 1980s cinematic piece, but does include the hit theme song. Along with learning the cornerstones of the performing arts, the students also learn more about their own qualities and character.
FAME The Musical is the culminating piece of the 46 high schoolers from Omaha Public Schools that have worked in conjunction with the UNO College of Communication, Fine Arts, and Media, The School of the Arts, and UNO Theatre. France says that it’s wonderful to see the collaboration between UNO and OPS come together in a spectacular performance.
“It started about a year ago,” said France. “We started talking about working together for a summer musical, which has been a tradition in the Omaha Public Schools. We wanted to add our resources to the project, and our resources are considerable in terms of facilities, faculty, and also a technical theater aspect. It’s a wonderful combination of people working together.”
The weekend’s performance also marks the first act of the UNO Summer Musical Theatre Academy. Officially launched in June, the SMTA works to provide OPS and area students the opportunity to showcase their talents with UNO’s assistance. Along with highlighting local talent, France says the SMTA can also show the different possibilities for students thinking about their next stage of life.
“We’re just sort of building ourselves,” said France. “And so having these young people in our facilities for the last month, the energy has been tremendous. They’ve gotten to see parts of the campus and meet people in the university. It’s just an orientation to a different way of looking at things and jumping to the next step of your life.”
The schedule of performances begin on Friday at 7:30 p.m. followed by a showing on Saturday at 2 p.m., with both being held at UNO’s Weber Fine Arts Building Theatre. Sunday, the troupe will be performing 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 UNO’s SMTA program, contact UNO Music Theatre Director Hal France at [email protected] You can hear the full interview below.