Anticipating the 2009 Fringe: “The Stetson Manifesto”

Director Jim Lucas sent me the following information about his 2009 Indy Fringe show “The Stetson Manifesto.”  I first met Jim the summer before last, at my first Fringe here in Indianapolis.  He was volunteering at the Fringe office.  He has also served as an Encore Association judge.

Here is a mini-interview via email, followed by his press release:

Hope:  Thanks very much, Jim, for the show info!  Refresh my memory, please: how did you first hear about this script?  And is this your first Fringe show as director/performer?  I know you have volunteered a lot for the Fringe – how many years?

JimHow I found this Manifesto – I used to listen to a podcast called the Cool as Hell theatre podcast. This was back in ’07 after the first year I volunteered at the Fringe. I was still pumped up with Fringe Fever. I couldn’t do anything last year because I directed a community theatre show last year at this time. So I just made sure my summer was clear this year to do something in the Fringe that I really would not be able to do in the restrictive community theatre community. I emailed the playwright John Hamilton, he sent me a copy, and I just fell in love with the script. I gotta give props to John because he has been very supportive. I also could not have asked for a more talented cast and AD*. This is a show populated with real characters that confront real issues. I hope that the audience leaves the theatre moved by what happens in the show.

That’s the long answer.

Short answer – 1st year as director (although I’d rather act) and volunteer since  2007 (and I’ll still get 2 shifts of working in the office.)

Note from Hope: If I were in charge of the Fringe, I would want reliable, experienced volunteers in the office, too.  I think I understand why someone might prefer to be assigned to one of the theatre box offices or whatever, but I am not surprised that Jim pulls two head office shifts instead.  And as a Fringe-goer, I really appreciate ALL of the Fringe volunteers!


 ****The fight against the corporation is on!****

Happy Holler Productions will present The Stetson Manifesto, a play about the clash of a corporation and a western ranch, as part of the 10-day Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival, August 21st through 31st.  The Stetson Manifesto plays 8/21 at 6pm, 8/23 at 7:30pm, 8/25 at 9pm, 8/27 at 7:30pm, 8/29 at 9 and 8/30 at 3:00pm.  All shows are at Theatre on The Square, Stage2 on Mass. Ave in downtown Indianapolis.

Fueled by whiskey, tradition and Tennessee Ernie Ford records, an aging cowboy leads a revolt against a technology-hungry world of unyielding corporate culture.  Under his influence, a young ranch hand must face difficult choices to retain his integrity and career.  The Stetson Manifesto is a darkly comedic, modern western in the vein of Clifford Odets, Sam Shepard and Horton Foote.

The cast includes William F Becker(Twelve Angry Men, Spotlight Players), Ryan Powell (Butterflies are Free, Spotlight Players) and Carrie Fedor (IndyProv, ANTB).

Stetson Manifesto was first presented as part of the 16th Annual San Francisco Fringe Festival, debuting Thursday, September 6th 2007 at the Exit Theatre, San Francisco. Written by John Hamilton and directed by Jeremy Greco.


*AD = Assistant Director – If I find out who Jim’s AD is, I will add it to this post.

The 2009 Indy Fringe Parade and Preview Party is tomorrow night on Massachusetts Avenue in downtown Indianapolis.  ‘See you at the Fringe!

Hope Baugh – and @IndyTheatre on

P. S. – I couldn’t get the photo to transfer into this post, either. ‘Sorry!

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