Coen brothers casting call

People wait in line near the Midwest Theater on Aug. 1 in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, for an open casting call.

SCOTTSBLUFF — The Midwest Theater will welcome some familiar faces to the stage as well as some new performers for the 2019-2020 performing arts season.

Some of the family shows this season include the Missoula Children’s Theater will return to the stage as well as the Omaha Symphony performance.

The fall Missoula Children’s Theater production is "The Emperor’s New Clothes." The show is scheduled for Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Auditions will be held Monday, Nov. 18, at 4 p.m. The spring production is "Beauty Lou and the Country Beast," which will be presented Feb. 7, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. "Beauty Lou and the Country Beast" auditions will be held Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, at 4 p.m.

Another personal favorite of Estes’ is Terrance Simien, who will perform at the Midwest on Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. The Midwest worked in partnership with the LEAD Center to book Simien.

“He’s an amazing arts educator and we’re so lucky to be able to be bringing him back to Scottsbluff,” Estes said.

After the announcement of the season lineup, Estes said phone calls indicate the community is excited for Sandi Patty’s performance Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. and the Peking Acrobats Feb. 11, 2020, at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s a really good mix, diverse season of shows,” he said.

The theater’s 13th season opens with the Repertory Dance Company from Salt Lake City, Utah. The five other regular season shows are Irish Christmas, the Frye Street Quartet, Omaha Symphony, April Birch and Terrance Simien.

The Omaha Symphony will perform two nights at the Midwest with the first evening an imagination station concert. The second evening is a formal concert.

“If you have a young audience member in your household, this is a great way to introduce them to go into classical music,” Estes said. “We want the kids to be engaged with the performers on stage.”

The imagination station concert is titled “Is There a Doctor In?” and is themed around the parts that make an orchestra and figuring out how to fix it in the absence of a maestro.

Peking Acrobats and Sandi Patty are extra shows apart of this year’s performing art season.

“She’s a five-time Grammy award winner and has won over 40 Dove awards, which is the Christian music industry’s equivalent to a Grammy,” Estes said. “

Ahead of the first show, Estes said the theater is embarking on a stage floor update. The theater purchased marley flooring, which is a sheet vinyl used by dancers. This temporary flooring will be available to artists and stored in-house. Previously, the theater rented out a marley floor.

With the help from the Oregon Trail Community Foundation, the Midwest Theater will be able to install the floor for performers.

“It’s been about 12 years since we’ve done any actual physical work to the stage,” he said. “Moving shows in and off the stage and pianos on the stage, we have a few problem areas, so we’re putting a new sheet of wood down and a fresh coat of paint.”

Season tickets and passes are available for purchase at, at the box office or by contact the theater at 308-632-4311. Season ticket holders from last year can renew their tickets to secure their seats.

While patrons can renew their tickets anytime, to guarantee their seats, Estes said the deadline is Thursday, Aug. 15. Starting Monday, Aug. 19, the theater will reserve seats for new season ticket holders, including members and non-members. Members gain access to early single-ticket sales Aug. 19. The public will be able to purchase single tickets for the season starting Aug. 30.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

Lauren Brant is a reporter with the Star-Herald and the Gering Courier. Contact her at 308-632-9043 or by email at

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