Brian Guehring is the Playwright in Residence and Education Director of the Omaha Theater Company, (one of the nation’s largest professional theaters for young people) where he has adapted the world premiere scripts of the Newbery Award winning novel Julie of the Wolves (directed by Everett Quinton), Where the Red Fern Grows, Old Yeller, The Misfits, Sherlock Holmes and the First Baker Street Irregular and Miss Bindergarten in addition to original plays such as Sacagawea: Discovering History, The Bully Show, The Super Adventures of Nutrition Woman and Dr. Exercise and The Myserious Case Files of Silver Cash. Brian also collaborated with puppeteer and director Stephanie Jacobson on a new mulit-media puppetry production of two Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales The Grocer’s Goblin and The Little Mermaid which was featured at a TYA/USA regional conference. Brian’s scripts have won several national and regional awards. His adaptation of Sherlock Holmes and the First Baker Street Irregular was honored with a Distinguished Play award for top published adaptation for middle school and high school audiences in 2018. His adaptation of The Misfits was honored as one of the top 10 local productions by the Omaha World Herald (the only TYA production honored), was featured in an article in TCG’s American Theater Magazine, and was selected in 2012 for a Playwights in Our Schools residency in Park City High School. His script The Bully Show was selected for the 2002 New Visions/New Voices new play development workshop at the Kennedy Center.His original Theater in Education play The Super Adventures of Nutrition Man and Dr. Exercise and his adaptations of Where the Red Fern Grows and Old Yeller won AATE (American Alliance for Theater and Education) Unpublished Play Project Awards. Brian received a playwriting fellowship from the Nebraska Arts Council in 2002.
His original script script King Chemo won the Southwest Theater Association’s 1997 Best New Play for Children, and his original play Creating Haley’s World was selected in 2003 for development in the inaugural Playwrights in the Schools program. His adaptation of the Newbery Award winning novel Julie of the Wolves was selected for the New Play Readings Series at the Growing Stages Theater Company in New Jersey. His plays have been produced by Lexington Children’s Theater, Imagination Stage, South Carolina Children’s Theater, A. D. Players in Houston, Apple Tree Theater for Young Audiences in Chicago, Barter Theater of Virginia, Town Hall Theater in Dayton, Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia, and other schools and theaters across the country. Sherlock Holmes and the First Baker Street Irregular, The Many Disguises of Robin Hood, Stronger than Strong: Great American Tall Tale Heroines, The Brave Little Tailor, King Chemo and The Bully Show are published by Dramatic Publishing Company and his 10 minute play Mindless Drooling Teenage Zombie Bullies is published in the Dramatic Publishing Company’s The Bully Plays.
His education department at the Omaha Theater Company does drama and dance education outreach for every single child in over 77 local schools each school year (reaching over 30,000 students). The outreach includes touring Theater in Education plays, drama in the classroom (tied to reading or history curriculum), pre-and post show workshops, and theater workshops in the school. Another 1,500 students participate in the theater’s classes and youth productions. He earned his MFA in children’s theater and creative drama from University of Texas at Austin. Brian has been teaching theater, acting, creative drama, improvisation, and playwriting for more than 25 years for students aged 4 through college. He has worked as an Artist in Schools in Texas, Georgia, Iowa and Nebraska. He has taught for numerous organizations including University of Texas at Austin, Macon State College, Omaha Theater Ballet, Omaha Symphony, Nebraska Arts Council, and the Texas Young Playwrights Festival.
Brian Guehring has received regional and national attention for his work using improvisational drama with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and straight allied youth. He presented his work at several American Alliance for Theater and Education national conferences, the national LGBT Task Force Conference in 2006, the Texas Network of Youth Services Annual Conference, and won a prestigious Rockefeller Foundation Grant. Pride Players won a Human and Civil Rights Award from the National Education Association in 2006, was the keynote performance at the 2012 AATE National Conference, and hosted a National Queer Youth Theater Director Retreat in the summer of 2011. Brian served as the founding Co-President of the Pride Youth Theater Alliance.
Brian Guehring was honored in 2016 by the Children’s Theater Foundation with the Orlin Corey Medallion Award for significant achievements for the enrichment of children in the United States and Canada through nurturing artistic work in theatre and the arts. In 2013 AATE honored Brian with the Lin Wright Special Recognition Citation for establishing special programs, developing experimental work, making a distinctive educational contribution and providing meritorious service furthering theatre and drama for young people. He was recently invited to participate on the National Endowment of the Arts’s five person review panel for national arts education grants.
Brian Guehring has also been a member of the resident acting company at the Omaha Theater Company for Young People for more than two decades. He has been seen on stage as Lord Farquaad in Shrek the Musical, Skipper in Madagascar the Musical, Prince John/Will Scarlett/Little John/Friar Tuck in Robin Hood, Harry in Harry the Dirty Dog, Captain Meriwether Lewis in Sacagawea: Discovering History, and in ballets as Uncle Drosselmier/Mouse King in the Nutcracker and Stepsister in Cinderella. Brian earned his BA in theater from Duke University. Brian previously served on the national board of directors of Theater for Young Audiences/USA, the United States Center for the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ), and a national membership organization that strengthens the artistic and cultural impact of theatre for young audiences by empowering, connecting and inspiring our members – thereby fostering a global appreciation of the field’s excellence. He also previously served as the founding co-chair of the Pride Youth Theater Alliance, a growing network that advances the practice of Queer Youth Theater by providing emerging and established leaders in the field with resources and opportunities to exchange, collaborate, and learn.