Omaha's Benson Theatre to Adapt THE SHINING for the Stage; Opens March 2014

Omaha's Benson Theatre will soon present a stage adaptation of Stephen King's THE SHINING. The tragic story of the Torrance family and their battle against the inhuman forces of The Overlook Hotel will come to life on stage in this world premiere event, which opens in March 2014. The play will be directed by Jason Levering, from a script written by Levering and fellow writer Aaron Sailors and approved by Mr. King.

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"The Shining" was first released in 1977. It was Stephen King's third novel and his first hardcover bestseller, and it was the book that cemented King as one of the leading authors in the horror industry. Mr. King originally conceived "The Shining" as a play - a tragedy in five acts - but it instead evolved into a novel with five parts. The story follows the gradual dismantling and eventual fall of the Torrance family at the hands of a sinister supernatural force, and it is rife with the intense drama and startling violence often found in Greek tragedies.

Jack Torrance is a recovering alcoholic and former teacher, a good man and father who is haunted by demons from his past. After losing his job at a prep school, Jack accepts a position as the winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, a grand tourist escape nestled into the mountains of Colorado and isolated from the outside world. Jack sees the job as an opportunity to return to his roots as a writer and to repair the things that are broken in his family. Jack and his wife Wendy move into the Overlook for the offseason with their young son Danny, a child with psychic abilities that enable him to see and feel things that others can't. Almost immediately, Danny becomes a witness to some of the more terrifying events from the hotel's past, and he continues to sense a nightmarish presence lurking ahead, something dark and terrible and violent. "Redrum. Coming." After a winter storm cuts the family off from the rest of the world, the evil in the hotel is unleashed, manipulating Jack's mind and needling at his alcoholism, propelling the family into very real danger.

Helping to advise the production are Tom Elkins, director of the film "The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia", and Kevin Lawler, Producing Artistic Director of the Great Plains Theatre Conference and co-founder of the Blue Barn Theatre. Lighting design is being developed by Tommy Wilson, Charlie Wagner, and the rest of the team at JSAV. Our set designer is Kit Gough, who has worked in the Omaha theatre community for several years, most recently as the set designer for "Seussical The Musical" at The Rose Theatre. Providing the artwork for our marketing is local artist Jeremy Caniglia, whose beautiful and terrifying work can be seen gracing the covers of books by authors such as William Peter Blatty (40th anniversary edition of "The Exorcist"), Douglas Clegg, Peter Straub, Max L Brooks, Anne Rice, and yes, Stephen King.

The Benson Theatre is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that fosters the success of local artists, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and underserved populations within the historic community of Benson. Our goal is to acquire and restore the historic Benson Theatre at 6054 Maple Street in Omaha to serve as a shared community space for business education and artistic performance. Benson is a flourishing arts and entertainment district, and the timing to restore our historic theater and bring more diverse entertainment and vital business education to our community has never been better. The Theatre's prime location in downtown Benson has the potential to bring thousands of new visitors to the Benson business district for more than 500 events annually.

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