News Go behind the scenes with Omaha Performing Arts

New Year, New Theater Essentials Online Lessons!

Posted On Jan 19, 2021, 16:54 PM by Gabriella Roenfeld
Aaron Derell, Omaha Performing Arts Teaching Artist

Each year, Omaha Performing Arts involves more than 100,000 students and adults in a variety of programs including student matinees, master classes, free community performances and more. Over the last 15 years, these programs have been in the classroom, in our venues and on our stages. Knowing these offerings are so important to the community and the students, we began discussing with the teachers and administrators throughout Omaha and the region how this school year is going to look in comparison to previous years - what did the teachers need based on how they would be teaching and how do we continue to enrich the community through our education and community engagement initiatives? This is where our new digital learning platform, Theater Essentials Online, was born.

What is Theater Essentials Online?

Theater Essentials Online is an integrated classroom tool for grades 7-12 consisting of structured 15-minute pre-recorded lessons led by local theater professionals. The program is flexible for in-person, hybrid or fully remote models of learning, video lessons are designed to support select Nebraska state standards for the fine arts and include study guides, student worksheets or other resources.

Using our easy pay-what-you-can structure, teachers can purchase and distribute videos in voice, acting, design and more to students wherever and whenever they are learning!

What are you waiting for? Enroll in our first round of lessons now! New lessons will be released throughout the school year.


Lesson 1 – “Ten Things Your Music Director Wants You to Know” with Dr. Barron Breland, Chair of the Department of Fine & Performing Arts at Creighton University.


Lesson 1 – “How to Create a Self-tape" with Nik Whitcomb, casting director and Broadway at the Rose manager.


Lesson 1 – “How to Properly Warm-up" with Aaron Derell, professional dancer and Omaha Performing Arts teaching artist.

Professional Development

Lesson 1 – “Directing and Creating Stage Pictures” with Marya Lucca-Thyberg, freelance director and Omaha Performing Arts teaching artist.

Technical Theater

Lesson 1 – “Lighting Design” with Steven Williams, Head of Design & Production at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

For more information about Theater Essentials Online visit or email

Sponsored by the Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Sunny Durham Foundation and the Producers of Moulin Rouge! The Musical.