OMAHA — The Circle Theatre is beginning its 2019-2020 season with “An Evening of Sherlock Holmes Stories,” which runs Friday through Nov. 2, including a special performance on Halloween. The theater is proud to continue its partnership with Hanscom United Methodist Church, which is located at 4444 Frances St. in Omaha, and serves as the performance venue. All performances start at 7 p.m.

Artistic director Fran Sillau points out that this is an intergenerational cast, and that the theater focuses on being accessible to a wide range of performers and audience members.

“We have artists with years of experience on the stage — seasoned artists, with or without disabilities — and artists for whom this is their first experience in theater,” said Sillau. “We meet artists wherever they are in their development.”

Cast member Sophia Kazmierski is an experienced performer who also has autism. A graduate of Bellevue West High School, she is currently a theater student attending Metro Community College on an academic scholarship. Sophia is writing about The Circle Theater for one of her college papers and says that the Circle fills a need in the Omaha area.

“It is important for disabled people to be given the same opportunities as non-disabled people. It is important for disabled people to have a voice in the community, to be listened to, and to be seen and heard,” said Kazmierski.

Her mother, Sharon Kazmierski agreed.

“The Circle Theater company means so much to us because Sophia can continue to develop as an actor and an artist in a company that actively celebrates and creates theater that includes different abilities and encourages participation by those with physical and developmental disabilities,” she said. “While neither my husband nor I are ‘theater people,’ we do believe that theater is ultimately about understanding and celebrating the diversity of human experience and that people with disabilities have important and essential things to contribute through art and drama.”

The show is a family-friendly production which is comprised of two, one-act plays. “Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars” was adapted by Eric Coble from graphic novels of the same title, and “The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor” was written by Jules Tasca. The title role of Sherlock Holmes is played by Jeff Dworkin and Giovanni Quezada appears as his sidekick, Dr. Watson. They star alongside a large and diverse cast, including Sophia Kazmierski who plays one of the Baker Street Irregulars.

“We are excited to present these classic stories to new audiences. We are also excited to offer ASL Interpreting at the Nov. 1 and 2 performances,” said Sillau.

Tickets can be purchased online at circletheatreomaha.org or by calling 402-553-4715.

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