The Brigit St. Brigit Theatre has the Great Plains Theatre Conference to thank for making its season-closing show possible.
The conference, opening Saturday, brought to Omaha playwright David Rush and actress Tamara Meneghini.
Meneghini will perform in conference play readings, while Rush’s play, “Nureyev’s Eyes,” was chosen for the mainstage play labs.
When Cathy Kurz, artistic director of the Brigit, learned both would be here, she asked Meneghini to perform “The Great Goddess Bazaar,” a piece Rush wrote for Meneghini. Kurz also asked Rush to do a June 1 talkback with the audience.
They said yes, and the show will have eight performances, starting Thursday night. It replaces “The Canterbury Tales,” bumped because Kurz has been trying for years to get Meneghini on the Brigit’s stage.
“I was gobsmacked when I first saw Tammy perform at the theater conference,” Kurz said. “She has an enormous amount of charisma, strength and intelligence, and you can see that onstage.”
In “The Great Goddess Bazaar,” Meneghini performs nine monologues, chosen from among 35 Rush wrote for her, collectively called “Women of Choice.”
Rush, retired from teaching at the University of Southern Illinois in Carbondale, wrote the monologues with archetypes in mind. “They’re about women, each of whom has made a very important decision in her life,” he said. “I began to call the pieces ‘Women of Choice.’”
Meneghini and director Jane Page assembled the monologues into a one-woman show that lasts about 65 minutes. They workshopped it at Nebraska Repertory Theatre in Lincoln, then honed it for award-winning runs in Denver and at the International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, last summer.
The characters range in age and experience from a young girl who has lost her mother to an elderly woman dealing with terminal illness.
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