Mailbox Monday – Troy, Broadway, Basile, Encore and more

Storyteller Megan Wells

Good morning! 

This coming weekend is your last chance to see “Cats” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre and your last chance to see “A Dark, Dark House” presented by the Heartland Actors’ Repertory Theatre at the Indy Fringe headquarters.  I saw the HART show last Friday and will blog about it soon.  It was not what I had expected, and it is, as I overhead someone else say, “a dark, dark show,” but I highly recommend it.

It is also your last chance to roadtrip up to Chicago to see The Strange Tree Group’s production of “The Dastardly Ficus,” by Indiana playwright Emily Schwartz at the Chopin Theatre.  I had hoped to get up there myself, and am sad that I will not be able to.  It closes this Saturday, April 4, 2009.

This coming weekend is your first chance to see “Forbidden Broadway” presented by Actors Theatre of Indiana as dinner theatre at The Mansion at Oak Hill in Carmel.  This show opens Thursday, April 2.  The run includes some Wednesday evening shows as well as the usual time slots.  I am looking forward to seeing it on opening night, and will, of course, tell you all about it soon after that.

This coming weekend is your only chance to see visiting storyteller Megan Wells present her version of the epic “Helen’s Troy” at the Indiana State Museum (650 West Washington Street, NOT the Indiana History Center this time.)  I first saw and heard this piece at the 2008 Going Deep: Long Traditional Stories Retreat.  I am really looking forward to seeing it again on Saturday night!  Epic stories are a form of medicine: they get us past our naïve expectations of “happily ever after” but also help to see that victimhood does not last forever either.

Megan’s storytelling is part of the Barnes and Thornburg Storytellers Theater series.  For more information and to make a reservation, please go here on the Storytelling Arts of Indiana website or call 317-576-9848.  I’ll share the full press release at the bottom of this post.

Megan is also offering a workshop for storytellers and other creative types: 

OVER THE RAINBOW! A Creativity “Playshop”
Presented by Megan Wells

Saturday, April 4th

10 am – 12:30 p.m.

Fringe Building

719 East St. Clair (just off of Mass. Ave.)

Tickets $30/Advance, $35/Door

Call 317-576-9848 or visit

https://www.storytellingarts.org/store/category/Tickets       

An interactive experience for all folks interested in clicking their heels together out of “black and white” Kansas. Are you a writer needing fresh inspiration? Or a minister seeking living water in your sermons? Perhaps you are a storyteller seeking more depth to your tales? Even Mom’s and Dad’s can gain tips to bring rainbow colors to family history. You will play creativity games including:  

  1. 1. TWISTER: Lift stories from familiar settings to shake loose hidden gold.
  2. 2. 3D CHARACTERS: Unleash unpredictable dimensions from characters.
  3. RUBY SLIPPERS: Craft word images that truly travel.

Megan Wells is a celebrated storyteller who draws on her experience in the theatre to present stories with dramatic force and immediacy.  She has been referred to as the “Kate Hepburn of storytelling,” and describes her style as a quest for a “story eclipse” in which “the light of the world gives way to the light of the imagination.”  Her accomplishments include the National Award-winning collaboration with singer/songwriter Amy Lowe, Fire in Boomtown, about the Great Chicago Fire.  She has also crafted new versions of other classic tales, including an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

 Call 317-576-9848 to purchase a ticket for the workshop or visit, https://www.storytellingarts.org/store/category/Tickets to purchase ticket on-line. Tickets are $30/advance, $35/door.          

My storytelling students and I are looking forward to being there.

Speaking of storytelling, the Frank Basile Emerging Stories Fellowship application information is available on the Storytelling Arts of Indiana website here.    This is a wonderful program that encourages professional storytellers to develop new pieces for adults.  Most storytellers’ income comes from developing material for young audiences so without assistance from a grant like this, it is hard to develop new material for adult audiences.  I ought to know: I would never have developed my “Hoosier in Tokyo” piece without the push from this grant.  I am grateful to both Frank Basile and Storytelling Arts of Indiana.

The deadline for this year’s Basile grant is either April 30 (according to SAI’s website) or May 1 (according to SAI’s press release.) Either way, I would get your application in well ahead of time.  Here is a little more information:

Calling All Hoosier Storytellers!

Frank Basile Emerging Stories Fellowship 

Applications due May 1st.

In support of Hoosier storytellers, Storytelling Arts of Indiana offers two annual fellowships for Indiana-based tellers. The Frank Basile Emerging Stories Fellowship encourages and recognizes the talent and skills of our Indiana storytellers. To apply for the grant, tellers must submit a proposal for a new 45-minute story for adults. Winners will receive a $1000 stipend to develop the story and $350 for its performance on November 14, 2009. Applications are due May 1, 2009. For eligibility requirements, details of application and other information, please visit: http://www.storytellingarts.org/documents/fortellers/basile.

This program is possible because of the generosity and commitment of Frank Basile to the art of storytelling. Begun in 2000, sixteen storytellers have recieved the Frank Basile Emerging Stories Fellowship to develop a wide-range of stories including I Ain’t Cookin’ for Nobody Today  and Hoosier in Tokyo. Past recipients include Cynthia Goodyear, Deborah Asante, Hope Baugh, Bob & Kathie Myers, Sandra Harris, Dan LeMonnier, Sharon Kirk Clifton, Khabir Shareef, Liza Hyatt, Vanita Moore, Stephanie Holman, George Schricker, Susan Grizzell, Bob Sander, Cynthia Changaris and Lou Ann Homan.

Questions, please call Ellen Munds at 317-576-9848 or send an email to Ellen@storytellingarts.org.

 Speaking of applications, the Encore Association is accepting applications for 2009-2010 judges.  I will step down at the end of this season because I need a break, but I would like to be an Encore judge again some time.  You get to see a lot of community theatre and learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t.  I have enjoyed almost all of it, and four times this year I found myself at a show that made me want to leap to my feet to applaud and then run home and rave about it on my blog.

Unfortunately, I am not allowed to write about Encore shows on my blog.  I am not even allowed to tell you which four shows blew me away.  Am I a tease or what?

Anyway, the deadline for Encore judge applications is May 4, 2009.

I was very, very sorry to have missed Dance Kaleidoscope’s “American Modern” show this past weekend. I had been looking forward to it since last August, when I first met one of the choreographers, but I hit a wall this past weekend and just couldn’t do it.  There are only 24 hours in a day, but still…from everything I’ve heard, I missed a wonderful show.  I wish I could have managed my time and energy better and seen it.

May your energy as well as mine be happy and well-balanced this week.  ‘See you at the theatres!

Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com

Oh! PS – What would a Mailbox Monday post be without a full press release?  Here is the press release that Ellen Munds from Storytelling Arts of Indiana sent me for Megan Well’s “Helen of Troy”:

Indianapolis – An ancient tale of timeless beauty will be brought to vivid life on April 4, 2009, when Megan Wells performs “Helen’s Troy” at the Indiana State Museum.  Helen of Troy is the classic epic about the “face that launched a thousand ships,” a compelling story of pride, passion and fate that has intrigued audiences for thousands of years.  Retold many times in many forms, the oral tradition comes full circle with Ms. Wells’ spoken word performance that brings fresh vitality and a modern perspective to this ageless legend.  With a mesmerizing touch, she takes listeners into the complex emotions, contradictions and conflicting loyalties of one of the greatest romantic heroines of all time.

 Megan Wells is a celebrated storyteller who draws on her experience in the theatre to present stories with dramatic force and immediacy.  She has been referred to as the “Kate Hepburn of storytelling,” and describes her style as a quest for a “story eclipse” in which “the light of the world gives way to the light of the imagination.”  Her accomplishments include the National Award-winning collaboration with singer/songwriter Amy Lowe, “Fire in Boomtown,” about the Great Chicago Fire.  She has also crafted new versions of other classic tales, including an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.”

 Ms. Wells’ storytelling has been described as “intimate and epic in equal measure.”  That balance is ideally suited to the story of Helen of Troy, a heroine in a world of gods and heroes in whom Ms. Wells yet finds a humanity to which all can relate.  In developing “Helen’s Troy,” her goal was to avoid the superficial portrayals of the famous beauty and instead to unfold the complexities of the character as a real person.  The result is “a powerful, powerful piece, . . . poetic and densely filled with imagery, but also very accessible.”

 “Helen’s Troy” will be performed at the Dean and Barbara White Auditorium at the Indiana State Museum, 650 West Washington Street, on Saturday, April 4, 2009, starting at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets for this event are $15 in advance or $18 at the door.  To order tickets or for more information, please call (317) 232-1637 or visit www.storytellingarts.org/store/category/Tickets.

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