Daniel Kubert is a Lincoln native, born in 1971, who spent his entire childhood telling stories, squirming about, and dreaming big dreams. At 14, he wrote and performed an original monologue, Do Black Patten Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?, and at an NAACP youth performing arts competition was awarded third place. One of the judges was Keith Grant, who later would serve as a great mentor to Kubert.
Kubert attended Lincoln East High School, and Lincoln High School. During his senior year at Lincoln High, he began attending the University of Nebraska, studying in the theatre and dance departments. It was there that he reconnected with Keith Grant, who took him under his wing and provided encouragement and a strong belief in his talents.
Kubert’s premier professional appearance was in Nebraska Repertory Theatre’s production ofPippin, under the direction of Grant, in 1988, and went on to perform in numerous productions at the college level through the remainder of his High School career.
Upon Mr. Grant’s suggestion, Kubert attended the Midwest Theatre auditions, and at 17 was offered a job in Galveston, Texas. Still officially in High School and having the option of a professional performing job that began one month before graduation the question became obvious. So too, the answer became obvious. It was his High School Guidance Counselor who suggested that Kubert complete his GED, and head out into the world of performing as a professional.
From here things moved fortuitously and quickly. The Choreographer at the Galveston theatre company where he was working suggested that Kubert attend an audition at the Houston Grand Opera, for a world premiere, directed by Sir Peter Hall, and choreographed by the world renowned Bill T. Jones. At 18, Kubert was one of twelve, out of six hundred selected as a featured dancer to work with Bill T. Jones and members of his company. This would be the chance of a lifetime, and set the rest of Kubert’s career in motion.
After a meeting with Jones, it was decided that with a couple years of intensive training, Kubert would have a great shot at joining the company as a full member. So that is what he did. While he trained, he worked at numerous repertory theatre companies around the country, and began exploring the world of choreography as an Artist in Residence with the Chicago Arts Council, where he taught in Rockford middle schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, and was the Artistic Director of the Without Shoes Dance Collective.
Exactly two years later Kubert was face to face with Jones, and the next step in his career was under way.
He started working with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company on his twenty-first birthday and was a principal dancer with the company until 2002, at the age of 31. As a principle dancer with the incomparable Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company Kubert performed at such venues as the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and the 2000 Olympics, and many, many more venues around the globe and locally. His time with the company ended due to a serious back injury that forced him to reevaluate his relation to performing and performing arts as a whole.
An avid reader, Kubert chose to attend the New School University, in New York City, and studied philosophy, psychology, and play writing. It was during this time that he began working with a small collective of “deep downtown” artists, and started to experiment with the confluence of choreography, storytelling and gesture. Often working with material by Gertrude Stein, Samuel Beckett, and Nemo Hill, he really honed his skill of choreographic storytelling, and movement theatre.
In 2006, Kubert returned to Lincoln, Nebraska to teach as a Guest Artist in the Dance department at University of Nebraska, and began to develop a more academic approach the “Down Town” work that he had developed to that point. He simultaneously worked at several dance studios around the Lincoln/Omaha area, and was able to focus on the technique of his personal style of movement and performance.
In 2010 he met, and married Dustin Witte, with whom he had collaborated on his original production of the lonely book in January, which was Kubert’s second evening length work produced in Lincoln (the first was Having/Sharing... six lessons I learned from Bill, commissioned by Viriginia Smith, and the Nebraska Rep. in 2007). In August, they collaborated again on two evenings of movement theatre running in repertory, Marginalia @ 40, and Experiencing… Eyes Open. Due to the success of the work Kubert and Witte created over that year, the next step revealed itself, and in August of 2010 OmniArts Nebraska was created and applications for non-profit status were filed.
So, now, four years later, as the Co-founder/Artistic Director of OmniArts Nebraska he has never been happier and more fulfilled. He has created 22 original performance pieces, and Directed and/or choreographed a dozen plays, musicals, and concerts with Witte and OmniArts.
He remains eternally grateful for the love and support of his husband, Dustin Witte and the too numerous to list people who have stuck with him through the thick and thin of the flux that is life. As a man dedicated to the lineage of loving kindness, joy, compassion, and equanimity, he strives to conscientiously carry the full weight of his successes (and failures) with him as he continues to work at supporting the arts and humanities in his home town, and was recently awarded the honor of Distinguished Alumni at Lincoln High for his efforts to do so.
He is looking forward to the continued growth of OmniArts, and is eternally grateful for the love and support shown by the community.
Dustin T. Witte was born in 1983 in Kearney, Nebraska. After graduating from Kearney Catholic High School in 2001, he attended Doane College in Crete, NE, where he studied English and theatre, and participated in Vocal music. While in college, Dustin was a very avid writer, publishing poems in the school's literary publication. He also learned to weave baskets from mentor and theatre director, Judith K. Hart. In 2002, he became a company member at the Theatre of the American West inRepublican City, Nebraska, where he moved upon graduating from Doane in 2005.
While at the theatre, Dustin performed in over 100 productions, as well as building and painting scenery, creating props, writing scenes, and making ice cream. He was apprentice to versatile theatre artist, Charles Davies while in Republican City, until Davies’s death in 2006. Dustin remained at the theatre for two more seasons, assuming more roles and responsibilities along the way. It was at this time that he began really developing his skills as a scenic designer.
He left the theatre in 2008 and moved to Lincoln, where he currently resides. In Lincoln, Dustin has worked as a freelance scenic designer, props artisan, performer, basket weaver, baker, and teacher. In 2010, he met Daniel Kubert, and the two were married in November of that year. Immediately they began collaborating on work, and after a short time, realized their shared dream of creating a performing arts production company, that would help them to achieve their goals.
Since 2011, OmniArts Nebraska has been producing plays, musicals, dance, and original work. Dustin is gratified to be at the center of so much creative energy. He is the Executive Director of the company, but has also directedPippin and Next Fall. He has designed, built and painted scenery for all of the company’s productions to date, and is also a frequent performer. It is this interdisciplinary work that Dustin loves to do, and when he feels he truly thrives as an individual artist. He is grateful to his sweetlove, Daniel, and to everyone who helped along the way to make OmniArts grow and flourish in the community. He looks forward to many more years of art.