Word of Mouth and Mailbox

As always, there was a lot going on in terms of live theatre in the Indianapolis area last weekend and I have a lot in my email box about events coming up. 

Here is my writing plan for the next few days:

  • Word of Mouth and Mailbox (today’s post)
  • IndyFringe DivaFest Overview
  • Spotlight 2010 For the Record
  • Theatre Review: “Dash Thirty Dash” at IndyFringe DivaFest
  • Theatre Review: “Madwomen’s Late Night Cabaret” at IndyFringe DivaFest
  • Theatre Review: “Always Patsy Cline” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre.  (And since this show runs through June 6, 2010, I will tell you right away that whether or not you are a country music fan, this show is a treat.  It is a satisfying musical tribute to the late Patsy Cline, but it also a moving and funny show about friendship and the power of musical storytelling in general.  Plus there are lots of beautiful dresses.)
  • If I have time, something related to the copious, compulsive notes I took at the Steven Dietz interview last month and the DivaFest panel of advisors this month.

In the meantime, here are a few items from last weekend’s gallivanting and from my email box, in random order:


At the Spotlight benefit for the Indiana AIDS Fund Monday night, I ran into Encore Association community theatre judges Jeremy Cales and Karen Webster.  I was delighted to hear that they are both going to serve as judges a second year.  I know from experience that being a judge for the Encore Awards is in many ways a very rewarding volunteer job, but it is also hugely time-consuming, sometimes difficult, and often thankless.  Thank you, Jeremy and Karen, for serving!

I was also impressed to hear that Jeremy has become an Equity stage manager.  He is running shows for Actors Theatre of Indiana.  Congratulations, Jeremy!


My Google alert emails are usually pretty bizarre and useless but every once in a while the service tells me about an actual person quoting a review from Indy Theatre Habit and/or linking to it.  This is usually just a simple ego boost for me, but recently, when I learned that costumer Karen Witting had quoted me, I was also delighted to go to her website (http://karenwitting.com/Portfolio.html) and find a fun slide show of some of the shows she has costumed.  Thanks, Karen!


News of a show (with photo – yay!) AND a new-to-me theatre award, came to me from Bobbi Van Howe and an all-volunteer theatre in Westfield, Indiana.  Here is an excerpt from her email:

…if you are a dues paying member of Main Street Productions, (only $10.00) your attendance is very important.  As a member you have the opportunity to vote in September for acting awards for the previous season.  See all the shows from September to August then vote for who you feel is best actor, actress, minor supporting roles, director, production, child performer, etc.  We then present awards (the Westie) to the performers that receive the most votes.  This is show #3 for our season.  Have you seen them all?

Just a reminder to call in those reservations!  This is very fun show that you don’t want to miss!

WHAT:    Wrinkled Rebellion – a play by Indiana’s own Ron Schnitzius

WHEN:    May 7-9, 14-16    Fri & Sat 7:30pm, Sundays 2:30pm

WHERE:  Westfield Playhouse  1836 West SR 32, Eagletown, IN- 3 miles west of North US 31

COST:     Adults $12.00     Senior/Student  $ 10.00       

RESERVATIONS:  317-896-2707  seating is limited


An email from the Indianapolis Civic Theatre’s Ulrike Steinert says that this is her last week as Marketing Director there.  She is “moving on to other endeavors.”  Ulrike was one of the first theatre marketing people to say “yes” to my requests for media passes, back in 2007 when I was writing as Amaryllis Jones for IndianaAuditions.com.  I have enjoyed working with Ulrike.  I wish her good luck!

“A Flea in Her Ear” opened at the hybrid (partly volunteer, partly paid professional) Indy Civic last week.   Here is one of the photos with captions that Ulrike emailed me before she left:

“Mongrel! Snake! Reptile!”

Ian Cruz (holding gun) is jealous husband Don Carlos Homenides de Histangua, who erroneously thinks his friend Victor Emmanuel Chandebise played by Paul Hansen is having an affair with his wife in Indianapolis Civic Theatre’s production A FLEA IN HER EAR closing the Theatre’s 2009-2010 season May 7 through May 23, 2010. In true French farce fashion, there are plenty of complications, mistaken identities, revolving beds, a great many doors and unbridled passions in this Georges Feydeau classic, superbly translated by Sir John Mortimer. The show is directed by Robert J. Sorbera. More information at www.civictheatre.org.

Actually, I can’t resist sharing two photos from this show, because the costumes seem so gorgeous.  I assume they were designed and built by Indy Civic’s resident costumer, Jean Engstrom:

“I’ve got the stuff! A bottle of Scarlet Woman…”
Christine Kruz(left) is suspicious wife Raymonde Chandebise who concocts a plot—based on a perfumed letter—to catch her alledgedly filandering husband Victor Emmanuael at the Hotel Coq d’Or in Montretout, and Carrie Bennett Fedoris Lucienne, her best friend and co-conspirator in Indianapolis Civic Theatre’s production of A FLEA IN HER EAR closing the Theatre’s 2009-2010 season May 7 through May 23, 2010. In true French farce fashion, the scheme misfires when everyone shows up at the hotel, complicated by confused identities, revolving beds, a great many doors and the fact that the stupid hotel porter, Poche, is the exact double of Victor Emmanuel in this Georges Feydeau classic, superbly translated by Sir John Mortimer. The show is directed by Robert J. Sorbera. More information at www.civictheatre.org.


Bryan Fonseca from the all-professional-artists Phoenix Theatre sent the following email to my more private email address.  It is a conversational email, not a press release, but I am sure that he sent it to more people than just me so I think (I hope!) it will be okay to share here.  I was touched by its warmth and it made me curious about the show: 

Hey there

I’ve been working on and off on a pet project for a couple of years and it’s finally coming to fruition. I’m a huge fan of John Prine. His music speaks to me. Lyrically, he is a great story-teller and poet. There is genuine warmth and wisdom in his songs. But mostly I’m attracted to his quirky, folksy humor. I don’t want to make a comparison to a storyteller or folk singer because he is that unique.

So I’ve fashioned a play using only his songs to tell the story. There is no dialogue. It’s only his music – played live. It’s sort of folk opera. Six distinct characters come together to share tall tales, hidden desires and quite a few beers at the local bar. (This takes place on the wonderful set of Yankee Tavern.)

Tim Brickley, Jenni Gregory, Tim Grimm, Bobbie Lancaster, Jan Lucas and Michael Shelton make up the cast, Laura Glover is doing the lighting and I’m staging the event.

Hope to see you there.

7 performances only – make a reservation early. I really think you’ll enjoy it.



Both Gabe Gloden and Holly Holbrook from the Bloomington Playwrights Project sent me info about an exciting series going on in Bloomington.  Here is the scoop, with  logo (I usually only post cast photos, but isn’t this a pretty logo?):

2010 BloomingPlays Festival

Staged Readings Series

Free & Open to the Public


09/10 BloomingPlays Development Series Participants

Wednesday, May 19th at 8pm


Student New Play Showcase

Wednesday, May 26th at 8pm


at the Bloomington Playwrights Project

107 W. 9th St.




Bloomington, IN — The Bloomington Playwrights Project (BPP) announces the 2010 BloomingPlays Festival Staged Readings Series featuring two free showcases of theatrical performances. 

On Wednesday, May 19 at 8pm, the BPP will host readings of three plays developed over the past season at the theatre from local Bloomington playwrights:

Things to Believe In by Josie Gingrich & Gayle Gingrich

A young woman’s offhand question about JFK’s assassination sends her mother on a path of remembrance about her own childhood.  Written by a mother-daughter team, Things to Believe In is about parenthood, finding your place in the world, and above all, hope.

The Good Daughter by Brenda Hiatt Barber

When their aging mother appears to be slipping mentally, three daughters argue over who will take care of her. At first, they try to top each other’s excuses but then, when they’re given a substantial financial incentive, they compete to be chosen as her caretaker. However, Mom gets the last laugh.

Kindred by Cairril Adaire & Lori Garraghty

One’s on the board of the Junior League.  The other volunteers at a homeless shelter.  Two sisters, living opposite lives, are forced to examine their past as well as their future in light of their mother’s pending return from the hospital.

The following week on Wednesday, May 26th at 8pm, the BPP will host a showcase of new plays by Indiana student playwrights from Hanover College and Indiana University.  Continuing its initiative to develop and encourage new works by Indiana playwrights, the BPP has chosen four of the best local student playwrights for this year’s Student Showcase.  The night will feature works by playwrights Abbey Guthrie and Caitlin Willenbrink from Hanover College, and Clayton Gerrard and Kelly P. Lusk from Indiana University. 

An Evening Bath by Abbey Guthrie (Hanover)

Diane and Warren have been married for decades, but now Warren’s jealous because his wife his playing fantasy dress-up with someone else – the dog

What Goes Up Must by Caitlin Willenbrink (Hanover)

Jack and Jill went up the hill and met Jill’s secret lover.  Jack would frown, throw off his crown, as Jill went after another.

Gerald and Jinny by Clayton Gerrard (IU)

A one act play about a couple, coffee, and art:  She gets him.  He gets her.  They get it.  Gerald and Jinny.  That’s who they are.

The Day We Fell in Love by Kelly P. Lusk (IU)

What are you supposed to do when you’re young and in love?  And what if you’re not loved back?  Three adolescents search for the answers in sex, paint, a dead deer, and a gun.


Admission is free and open to the public.  No reservations are required.  Visit www.newplays.org for more information about the 2010 BloomingPlays Festival.


Shayla Kenworthy, Director of Special Events & Communications for the Wayne Township Education Foundation, sent me the following cast announcement for the all-volunteer Wayne Township Community Theatre’s production of “Man of La Mancha.”  The show doesn’t open for a little while, so I should probably hold this email until a later Mailbox post, but I was excited to see that some of my destination actor/vocalists are on this list, so I’m sharing it:                              

Wayne Township Community Theatre is proud to announce the Man of La Mancha! cast list.

Cast List:

Cervantes/Don Quixote: Paul Nicely

The Manservant/Sancho: Jeremy Brimm

Aldonza: Linda Heiden

Dr. Carrasco/Duke: Andrew Dillon

Governor/Innkeeper: Rory Shivers

Lt Governor/Stable Master: Ray Middleton

The Padre: John Phillips

The Housekeeper/Innkeeper’s Wife: Adrienne Reiswerg

Antonia: Libby Adams

Housemaid/Innkeeper: Jo Ann Klooz        

The Barber: Nathan Erdel

Captain of the Guard:  Scott Cline

Pedro: Aaron Cleveland

Guillermo: Jake DeWitt

Rosalita: Erica Freeman        

Luisa: Alix Keller         

Helena: Megan Lamar        

Rosa: Janis Schoo


Staff List:

Producers: Scott Cline & the Wayne Township Education Foundation

Director: Stacy Embry        

Music Director:  Deb Farmer

Assistant Director: Edie McDonnel        

Production Assistant:  Sami Hertenstein  


Performances will run Thursday – Saturday June 10-19, 20010.  All shows begin at 7:30 p.m.  General admission tickets are $10, Senior tickets $8 and Student tickets $7. You can reserve your tickets by calling the Wayne Township Education Foundation at (317) 390-0363 or purchase your tickets at the door.

For more information regarding Man of La Mancha please visit our website www.wayne.k12.in.us/wtef.

All Wayne Township Community Theatre shows are in conjunction with the Wayne Township Education Foundation.  All WTCT proceeds benefit teacher and student grants in MSD Wayne Township.


And from Rann DeStefano, the following info and photo (yay, publicity photos!) from the all-volunteer Epilogue Players:


1849 N. Alabama

Indianapolis 46202


Title of Show:”Dr. Cook’s Garden”

Author: Ira Levin

Director: Beverly Gray

Cast: Ken Klingenmeier as Dr. Cook, Bob Willsey as Dr. Jim, Ethel Booth as Bea, Pat McKinley as Dora and Steve Demuth as Elias.

When: Three Weekends, May 7 thru 23, 2010

Fri. & Sat. 7:30 PM – Sun. 2 PM

Ticket Prices: Reg. $10; Members & Seniors: $9; Children (12 & under) $8

Reservations are required:  Call (317) 926-3139 or email epilogue.players@yahoo.com

This show is a powerful drama about an idyllic, contented small town in Vermont. Caring for its people is the beloved elderly Doctor Cook. Trouble brews when a former protégé of Dr. Cook comes for a visit and questions just what is going on with medical practices and procedures and in his home town.


Elias (Steve Demuth) welcomes Dr. Jim (Bob Willsey) as Bea (Ethel Booth) and Dora (Pat McKinley)  look on.


If Indy Theatre Habit had a staff, I would send someone to report on the following, but since I am the only ITH staff member at the moment, I’ll just share the announcement:

Carmel Community Players proudly announces its 2010 Annual Members Meeting.  It will take place on Wednesday, May 19 at 7:00pm at the Carmel Community Playhouse located at 14299 Clay Terrace Blvd., Suite 140 in Carmel.  Doors open at 6:45pm for check-in and refreshments.

The meeting is open to anyone.  Attendees may establish or renew their CCP memberships that night ($25 minimum annually). If you are a member and cannot attend, you may send a written proxy assigning your voting privilege to another attendee.

The evening’s agenda includes Officers’ annual reports, elections for members of the Board of Directors and the announcement of CCP’s 2010-2011 season.

Carmel Community Players opened the doors of its classy 130-seat venue at Clay Terrace on October 15, 2009.  Since then, over 7,000 people have attended CCP productions and other events in the Playhouse.

For directions, go to http://carmelplayhouse.com/directions.

For further information, call 317-815-9387 or go to www.carmelplayers.org.


Whew!  That is all I’m going to share from my mailbox right now, but I also want to mention that Nuvo is running its annual “Best of Indy” reader survey through June 11, 2010.  There is a place to write in your favorite local niche blog if you are so inclined…

Or, you know, you could just send me a birthday email on June 6 with the phrase “Hope, I love reading your blog!” and that would be great, too. (amarylliswriter at gmail dot com)

‘See you at the theatres!

Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com

Follow @IndyTheatre on Twitter.com, too!

Leave a Reply