Willa Cather 150th Birthday Celebration
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Willa Cather 150th Birthday Celebration

A Weekend Event in Brownville, Nebraska
Special Events

Brownville Concert Hall
126 Atlantic Street
Brownville, NE 68321
United States


Old Time Autumn 2023 Weekend events (see flyer)

Two days of free activities and events in Brownville, NE in a celebration of Willa Cather, including:

  • Sunday, October 15 at 1:30 pm – National Willa Cather Center executive director Ashley Olson will present “Willa Cather’s Nebraska: How Life Inspired Fiction,” at the Brownville Town Hall • Free admission!

Additional Saturday or Sunday Celebration Packages Include:

  • Brownville Village Theatre production of A Resurrection—a story based in Brownville, written by Willa Cather and adapted by Rachel Curtiss
  • Dinner and music at the Brownville Concert Hall—Menu inspired by Willa Cather novels and life: Chef Paul will present an “amuse the mouth” meal with wine, barley soup with mushrooms, chiffonade salad with rosemary vinaigrette, Czechoslovak pepper steak with caraway noodles & steamed asparagus, followed by a delectable rhubarb dainty!
  • Live music from the late 1800s by singers in costume from Opera Omaha, Mary Carrick and CeCe Hastreiter accompanied by pianist, J. Gawf [see below]
  • Embark on a river cruise on the Spirit of Brownville on Saturday after dinner for wine & chocolates, or a lunch cruise on Sunday before the play
  • Hand-printed copy of Willa Cather’s article on Brownville, “An Old River Metropolis"
  • Plus much more!

Limited Tickets Available!  

Saturday, October 14

  • 3:00 p.m. — Brownville Village Theatre production of A Resurrection
  • 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. — Dinner and music at the Brownville Concert Hall [see menu, above]
  • 7:15 p.m. — embark on an evening river cruise on the Spirit of Brownville 

Sunday, October 15

  • 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Light lunch and river cruise on the Spirit of Brownville
  • 3:00 p.m. — Brownville Village Theatre production of A Resurrection
  • 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. — Dinner and music at the Brownville Concert Hall [see menu, above]
Sponsor logos
Sponsored by the National Willa Cather Center, Brownville Creative District, and Nebraska Arts Council


Ashley Olson

Ashley Olson

Executive Director, National Willa Cather Center, Red Cloud, NE

Ashley Olson is Executive Director of the National Willa Cather Center in Red Cloud, Nebraska, where she guides the mission of the organization and oversees all aspects of its operation. Olson administers the museum, arts center, 10 historic sites, and a 612-acre native prairie that make up the largest collection of nationally designated historic sites dedicated to an American author.

Mary Carrick

Mary Carrick


Mary Carrick is a dynamic performer who crosses a variety of genres. Carrick is a familiar face and voice across the Omaha metropolitan area and has performed with many of the area's major organizations, theaters, and venues, including Opera Omaha, The Rose Theater, Omaha Symphony, Holland Performing Arts Center, and others. Carrick released her debut album, Let's Fly in 2014, featuring a collection of reimagined classic and contemporary songs. In November she will perform her show Girl Singer: Celebrating the Women Who Wrote the Songs on the Jazz at the J concert series at the Jewish Community Center in Omaha. Find her online at

CeCe Hastreiter

CeCe Hastreiter


CeCe Hastreiter is known for her versatility in performing both musical theater and classical works. Hastreiter has had many leading roles in opera productions, and has participated in multiple young artist programs, including La Musica Lirica. She has performed with Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Résonance, Chicago Symphony, Lincoln Symphony, Carnegie Hall, Rosemont Theatre, and Chanticleer Theatre. Recent credits include premiering in the role of Bibi in Daron Hagen's new opera, 9/10: Love Before the Fall," Maureen in RENT, Lindsay in Godspell, Mable in Pirates of Penzance, as well as continuously performing as the soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah. Hastreiter sings for First Plymouth Church in Lincoln, with the Opera Omaha Chorus, and teaches privately.