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When most people think of percussion instruments, drum sets and cymbals come to mind. To the performers of "STOMP," though, they are ordinary objects lying around, such as trash bags, brooms and Zippo lighters, inventing explosive and unique sounds. 

"STOMP" is back for the first time since 2015 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts with two performances on Nov. 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln alumnus Alan Schuster has been working as an executive producer for "STOMP" since the show's start in 1994.

“I’ve been with it since the beginning, but it’s not my first rodeo,” Schuster said. “I’ve produced probably 50 different productions, 25 different shows.”

While Schuster has been around the block with performing arts, "STOMP" is unlike anything he’s ever worked with before.

“It’s an extraordinary visual show. The performers are extremely talented,” Schuster said. “You really have to have a drummer’s sense of rhythm and, at the same time, be able to move like a dancer.”

Schuster said that there are no pauses in the nearly two-hour show, and each number varies in instrumentation.

“There’s various different objects used in different numbers,” Schuster said. “There’s a number in which they use plumbing parts. There’s another number in which they are flying off the top of the set in harnesses and creating rhythms off of the street signs and hubcaps and all sorts of objects. It’s found objects that they take and create their rhythms on it.”

Schuster said that one of his favorite parts about "STOMP" is the creativity. The show also requires audience participation. 

“There’s a learning process to the show for the audience,” Schuster said. “They teach the audience a set of rhythms starting at the beginning of the show, and then by the end of the show, the audience has acquired a talent that they didn’t know they had before. All those things keep the show relevant. It’s fresh and new every time someone sees it because it’s different.”

While the show has been going on for nearly 29 years, Schuster said that it is constantly evolving.

“It’s not static. It’s not the same that it was when you saw it in 1994,” Schuster said. “Maybe 40% of the numbers that were in ‘94 are still in, but they’re done differently. We kind of take advantage of everybody's skill level.”

Lauren Durban, communications manager for the Lied Center, said that she is looking forward to providing Schuster the stage to bring his passionate profession back to Lincoln. 

“We’re obviously so excited that we get to welcome Alan back, and we know he’s thinking of it as kind of a homecoming,” Durban said. “We’re excited that he gets to bring something he loves back to his hometown and the university.”

While tickets are still available for the show, Durban said they are very limited due to the show’s popularity. She said that "STOMP" was supposed to perform at the Lied Center back in 2020 but was among the events postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s really become kind of a tradition at the Lied Center. This will actually be the eighth time ‘STOMP’ has come back since the Lied Center opened in the early ‘90s,” Durban said. “They really are one of the most requested shows in the history of the Lied Center.”

Durban said she recommends the show for all ages of music-lovers. 

“I think this really is a show for everybody, and I don’t say that about every show,” Durban said. “You don’t need prior knowledge about music or about percussion or about dance or any of that. It’s so accessible to anybody, and it’s the energy of it that really anybody can enjoy and be part of.”

As part of the Glenn Korff Broadway Series, Durban said "STOMP" is a performance that is a hit both on and off Broadway because of the fun and high energy the cast brings. 

“It’s an experience,” Durban said. “Some shows you watch, this show you feel because it’s such a percussive experience.”

Schuster said “STOMP” is not an average percussion show; it’s a creative performance of rigid rhythms and movements of dance.

“It’s nonverbal, it’s visual,” Schuster said. “It’s rhythm, it’s beat.”

culture@dailynebraskan.com