Stage Matters

Page to stage story telling

In 1997, as a sophmore at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I felt a little as though I was on a sinking ship.  Then, I took a playwriting class, and even though I was studying to become to actor, realized that by writing scripts I was tapping into something that felt as much like home to me as Nebraska. 
Fast forward 20-some years, and you'll find me often juggling new and commissioned plays and musicals as well as assiting other writers and teams refine their own original works.  My writing career has grown to include not only plays, but also a book, published poems, and lyrics for various styles of composition.  When not creating or assisting with original work, I sometimes return to the stage as an actor or director. Nebraska is a perfect place to be a working artist.  Hold on, and I'll write that once more: Nebraska is a perfect place to be a working artist.  Funny story - once I was so overwhelmed by upcoming writing deadlines that I bought a cabin in the woods in a different state, packed up everything I owned, and moved there.  I lasted three months and didn't write a word.  Nebraska is my arts home.
Here are some recent plays, musicals, and assorted gigs I've been working on.

Plays and Musicals and Other New Works

Ok, so while I'm super excited to tell you about The Dream Switch, I'm going to hold back a little here because there are some special announcements I want to share at a later date.  What I can tell you is this:  ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Dream Switch is a returner song cycle in development, performed by the one and only Andrea von Kampen and we have some pretty awesome plans for it. Stay tuned!

"If you gave this place a chance, you could make something good,
That's what my mother said to me,
But running hard and breaking free,

Always felt much better than it should..."


The Dream Switch
​music by David von Kampen

The Schoolchildren's Blizzard of 1888 swept through Nebraska out of nowhere and killed hundreds of children trying to find their way home.  I've always wanted to create a piece of live theatre that centered around that part of the local history.  Then, in 2016 I heard a news report about a little girl in Omaha who had died inside her own home from exposure. The idea that a child could develop hypothermia in her own home in my own state was incomprehensible to me, and so began the journey of Snowcatcher.  This is a one-woman show that I was commissioned to write and perform, but in the future I will license it to other actors as well. Because of the strong grief component in this play, my production company  BLIXT   partnered with Mourning Hope Grief Center so we could get the facts straight. Since that time, SNOWCATCHER has toured to four communities, and I have played a role in drafting unique curricula for students as well as developing an ongoing community project that centers on the collection of grief stories from young adults in the form of storytelling.  This project also inspired me and my business partner and best friend Petra Wahlqvist to create a blanket drive for underserved students in February 2018. Since that time, over 700 new or homemade blankets have made their way to kids in our community.​​​​​​​​​​

To request to read a preview copy of SNOWCATCHER, please click here.

​Commissioned by the Midwest Theater and Lincoln Arts Council

PUDDIN' AND THE GRUMBLE was commissioned by the Lied Center for Performing Arts to tackle childhood hunger in my hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska.  Petra and I immediately asked for a meeting with the rockstars at the ​ Food Bank of Lincoln who ultimately partnered with us for the production and helped connect us to Clinton Elementary School, where for 9 months, we learned about being a 5th graders from kids involved in the local food backpack program. Since it's premiere in 2016, PUDDIN' has been produced in Florida and West Virginia and always with the support or partnership of local food banks.  I love this show, particularly the score.  It's got a fresh, funky vibe that kids love and lots of relatable characters and issues pertaining to family.  ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

To learn more about PUDDIN' AND THE GRUMBLE, please click here .

Puddin' and the Grumble
music by David von Kampen
comissioned by the Lied Center for Performing Arts

"Without showing one tree or a blade of tall grass, “Catherland” captures the mystery and beauty of the Nebraska prairie.​"

                                                   - Bestie Freeman, Omaha World Herald

Catherland is the first musical I wrote with DVK and the score includes some of the most beautiful songs we've ever written together. In 2014 I had the opporutnity to serve as a teaching artist in Red Cloud, Nebraska, home of the American novelist, Willa Cather.  Note:  If you've never been to
Red Cloud , go!  It's AMAZING.  Anyway, it was on that trip I wondered what Ms. Cather might think of the current climate of our American culture and soon I began plotting away at creating a play that featured the writer living in our time rather than her own.  Soon, I met David, and the rest is history.
This is a great musical for small's really intimate and spooky and in the productions I've seen of it outside our own (
Shelterbelt Theatre in Omaha and the Tada Theatre in Lincoln ) there have been lots of audience gasps, laughs and tears. 

To learn more about CATHERLAND, please click

​music by David von Kampen

In 2011 I was commissioned to write a play for family audiences by the Lied Center for Performing Arts .  At the same time, I was noticing that my 8 year-old child was dealing with some anxiety issues that seemed to come to the surface every time it would storm.  Then, on Sunday, May 22, 2011, an EF5 tornado hit the town of ​ Joplin, Missouri .  As fate would have it, my own parents lived so close to Joplin that when I called my mom to ask her about the storm, I could hear it raging in the background of the call! I loaded up my kids and we went to Joplin, where for over a course of two years, I wrote What the Wind Taught Me, which premiered at the Lied that year, then toured the state of Nebraska.  I accompnied the tour as a teaching artist, working with students and adults throughout Greater Nebraska as we learned about family storm safety and wrote about our biggest fears and how to meet them.  
This amazing video was part of the original production and was shot and edited by the phenomenal Alexander Jeffery .

What the Wind Taught Me
Commissioned by the Lied Center for Performing Arts

"Theatre goers were visably moved by Boesen's play about domestic violence..."
                                                    - Jeff Korbelik, Lincoln Journal Star

In 2009, I began a journey that would change my life.  It started with meeting a woman whose daughter had been murdered by her former domestic partner, a desire to better understand domestic violence, and an association with a theatre company that believed in my prowess as an emerging playwright.  From that, In My Daughter's Name was born, which I have since retitled as 12 B Starlight12 B Starlight first opened in 2010 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts and was later utlized by a theatre in North Carolina as a teaching tool in the movement against domestic violence.  
To learn more about Amanda Thomas, upon whom the play is inspired, as well as the story behind the story, please click here.

If you or a loved one is experiencing domestic violence and looking for help, here are some resources:

12 B Starlight
(In My Daughter's Name)

  If you're interested in any of these works or in other works by Becky not listed above, please direct your inquiries to ​ Petra Wahlqvist.