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Community Playhouse focuses on actors and crew after crash

Posted at 6:26 PM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 19:26:32-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Nebraska Theatre Caravan was in a frightening crash in Maine while driving to their next show. Now, the Omaha Community Playhouse says their safety and getting them home is their top priority.

The caravan has traveled the country for more than 40 years with actors from across the United States...recreating one of the more well-known Christmas tales...a Christmas Carol.

On Tuesday night, their Arrow Stageline bus crashed and overturned on an interstate near Waterville, Maine.

Omaha Community Playhouse Executive Director Katie Broman says they've been working non-stop to make sure all company members have a place to stay and a way to get home. They decided to cancel the remaining shows and pay all members for the full tour.

On Facebook, people complained about how it was being handled...saying Omaha Community Playhouse offered them $300 to get home and said they were on their own. Someone even set up a GoFundMe for them.

The Playhouse says they wired $500 directly to everyone for plane tickets.

"We've told them if that's not enough, contact us and we'll do everything we can to get you home and our staff is standing by to help with re-bookings or travel arrangements as well as we can," says Broman.

One Company member told us by text that they're sore from the crash and that Omaha Community Playhouse is helping but not all expense are being covered.

Maine State Police say the bus driver fell asleep and was cited. Arrow Stagelines wouldn't comment but the American Bus Association sent a statement on their behalf saying they're cooperating with Maine authorities and the company has a high safety rating with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Many cast and crew members don't actually live in the Omaha area. The tour was supposed to continue through December 23 but the Omaha Community Playhouse says the top priority now is getting them home safly and soundly for the holidays.