Blixt Locally Grown Utilizes Virtual Theatre and Input from Local Physicians to Address Community Health
Blixt Locally Grown (BLG) had planned a live performance of Conor McPherson’s St. Nicholas in partnership with The Mill Coffee and Tea on Innovation Campus around Halloween time. With the local COVID-19 dial rising, BLG will instead provide a streamed performance of St. Nicholas on October 30th at 7 PM.
In addition to the 75-minute production, BLG will host an online community discussion following the virtual performance featuring Dr. Phil Boucher, Dr. Bob Rauner, Carly Woythaler-Runestad, and Becky Boesen. Local community builder and personality DeWayne Taylor will moderate the post-show discussion panel. Dr. Phil Boucher will also introduce the live feed of St. Nicholas.
“This production change and addition of a health-related panel illustrates BLG’s commitment to making pandemic sensitive theatre,” said Petra Wahlqvist, President/Community Organizer for BLG. “Blixt Locally Grown is honored to welcome the panelists to the project, and believes that their presence will help elevate a message centric to the BLG canon: Take care of yourselves, and take care of each other.”
Dr. Boucher is a well-known local pediatrician who has been featured on local and national outlets after growing a following for his straightforward parenting advice.
Dr. Rauner is an expert in public health and has been a voice of reason during the current pandemic, providing weekly video updates on YouTube. He is also a member of the Lincoln Public School Board of Education.
Carly Woythaler-Runestad is the Executive Director of Mourning Hope Grief Services. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of children’s grief, health policy, and community health.
Becky Boesen is the co-founder of Blixt Locally Grown, and an award-winning playwright, lyricist, producer, and educator. As a consultant, she currently works alongside vibrant rural communities to unleash local creative assets. She was recently honored as a Chime Bank 2020 Changemaker for her commitment to advancing goodness through the arts.
St. Nicholas is a play about an individual dealing with feelings of isolation and longing for connection, which are timely themes during COVID-19. Performed by veteran actor Brad Boesen and directed by Becky Boesen, St. Nicholas is an exploration of what happens when we fail to make deep relationships and lose touch with the parts of life that help us feel wanted and like we belong. Sometimes haunting, but also humorous, St. Nicholas makes space for conversations about community, secret thoughts, personal dreams, and what it means to share the world with others.
“We can’t miss this opportunity to provide a stunning piece of theatre while also utilizing live arts to address current events in our own community,” says BLG President Petra Wahlqvist. “The world may feel pretty divisive right now, but at the end of the day, we’re all people in our communities, sharing a place. Taking care of each other has to be at the heart of what we do.”
The live streamed virtual performance and community conversation is available to purchase in advance for $10 at www.blixt.space or by calling 402.817.8176.
All proceeds will go toward a live performance set for December at The Mill Coffee and Tea on Innovation Campus.
“We have to wait for that dial to go down before we share a room,” says director Becky Boesen. “Meanwhile, theatre and the catalyst it creates for unleashing community goodness doesn’t go away. We’re here for it virtually until we can all be together again.”
St. Nicholas by Conor McPherson
A virtual live stream event and community conversation
7 PM - Oct 30th
*This play contains some adult themes and is not suitable for young children
About Blixt Locally Grown:
Blixt Locally Grown is a Nebraska-based arts organization that grows goodness with the arts. BLG specializes in the development of new works, education and engagement, community building, and the integration of arts and culture into all facets of life. To learn more about Blixt, please visit www.blixt.space, or check out the August cover story of L magazine, which features Blixt’s origin story and current work. BLG is supported by Nebraska Community Foundation, the Peter Kiewit Foundation, Humanities Nebraska, Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Beyond School Bells, the Pearle Francis Finigan Foundation, Union Bank and Trust, and individual donors. www.blixt.space
About The Mill Coffee and Tea:
Craft micro-roaster since 1975 with multiple venues that serve and bring value to neighborhoods throughout Lincoln, Nebraska: At 8th & P in the Historic Haymarket, 48th & Prescott in the College View neighborhood, 21st and Transformation Drive on Innovation Campus, and 21st & Capitol Parkway in the Telegraph District. www.millcoffee.com
Local COVID-19 Resources:
*A note from Blixt Locally Grown: Our organizational ethos is one of embracing risk and taking "the leap." Board Member Dr. Darl Naumann shares a story about a recent leap he took, and what he learned.
The year has been somewhat challenging, with COVID-19 placing an obstacle in front of almost every event I’d been looking forward to for months.
My son Sam saw a coupon for skydiving at in our hometown of Holdrege. We considered it.
Why not? We decided to go for it! Fast forward to the sky...
Jumpers onboard, doors closed and the plane took off into the air to reach the altitude. Then it rose higher and higher as the altimeter crawled slowly up—over two miles! And I knew we were getting close.
The pilot had planned something special, and he said, “we are about to experience Zero-G.” The instructor in front of me had not put on his helmet, and it began to float in the cockpit. I placed my hand on the roof of the plane as I became weightless.
This weightlessness was something few people get to experience. I felt like “Peter Pan” before gravity took over as we soared again to 14,000 feet. For 20 seconds, the zero gravity was the realization of every boy’s childhood dream.
Then reality as the door of the plane opened and a cold wind filled your lungs. Jumpers began to inch their way toward the opening.
Soon, I was standing at the opening of the airplane. My toes on the ledge pointing toward something unknown. My instructor said we would jump on “three” but we jumped on “one”!
The feeling was surreal. I just didn’t know what to think. All I could do was be present to feel the sensation of soaring through the air. I knew from the reading that the free fall would only last 60 seconds. That minute became 60 seconds of adrenaline-fueled sweetness.
I quickly went into a skydiving position with arms bent and back and knees bent - the “banana” position the instructor was so careful to explain in his presentation. A few short seconds into the one-minute freefall I was relaxed! A kinda-otherworldly feeling of lasting forever – while at the same time feeling that it’s over almost before it starts.
Thus began the rush everyone talks about and it sticks in your mind indefinitely.
Freefall is unequalled...
Finally, the instructor pulled the cord and I went from a feeling of uncomfortable unknowingness to a state of calm peace as I floated slowly downward.
I steered from left to right and made my landing.
During this unbelievable experience, I learned a few things that I’m happy to share:
Don’t analyze too much.
If I would have thought too much beforehand about the experience that lay before me, I probably would have talked myself right out of even trying. I think soberly about my decisions in life. That’s wisdom. But overanalyzing to the point of paralysis gets you nowhere.
There may be some waiting time in between learning how to do something and actually doing it.
I may feel that I’m ready to go forward but the conditions all around me are shaped by the world. Skydiving requires clear conditions, and they’re worth waiting for.
The first step or two out of my comfort zone will feel uncomfortable and even scary but if I continue to go forward, I’ll realize that I am moving along my journey of life.
Stepping outward and taking a risk made space for an exceptional father-son experience I’ll not forget.
Final lesson..Don’t be afraid to jump out of your comfort zone every once in a while.
You just might have an adventure of a lifetime!
Blixt Locally Grown