Dear Indy Theatre Habit readers,
How are you? I am having a wonderful time on my summer sabbatical. I am learning a lot about small business ownership, website design, and theatre journalism. Mostly I am learning that I have an overwhelming amount to learn about all of this before I can take Indy Theatre Habit from being a solo blog to being on online magazine with a paid staff and paid advertising.
But it’s good to have a goal, right? In September I will return to writing reviews of live theatre and storytelling shows in the Indianapolis area for this blog. I am also going to just keep plugging along on my part-time learning path – and continue to save money to pay for the consultants, designers, and equipment I want! I will also continue to trust that everything will work out for the best in its own best time. I still love my fulltime+ day job, too, so maybe running an online magazine will be what I do when I retire from that a few years from now.
In the meantime, here is some news and gossip that I have been saving in my “for the postcard” file:
- You probably read on Lou Harry’s A&E blog for the Indianapolis Business Journal at the beginning of the summer that Priscilla Lindsay, veteran actress and the Indiana Repertory Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director, has accepted an appointment as Chair of the Department of Theatre and Drama in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. My press release from the IRT says that Priscilla is the first woman to chair the Theatre Department at Michigan. She will officially begin her tenure on September 1, 2010. If you, like me, do not know Priscilla personally but have admired her work at the IRT, there is still time for you to leave a “thank you and good luck” comment for her on the IRT’s blog. (http://blog.irtlive.com/) Priscilla, if you happen to read this “postcard” post, I admire you and wish you the best in Ann Arbor! Please say hi to my friend, Mary Morgan, publisher of the Ann Arbor Chronicle.
- Speaking of the IRT and career changes, several little birds told me a while back that Charles Goad, the actor that has played Scrooge in the IRT’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol” for many years, has begun work on a professional degree in the culinary arts so that he can become a fulltime chef. I wish Chuck the best, of course, but selfishly I was crushed when I heard this. I loved Chuck’s always-fresh portrayal of that iconic character; it had become a highly-anticipated highlight of my own holiday season every year. However, a little bird also told me that the IRT has tapped Ryan Artzberger to take on the role of Scrooge this coming season. That is excellent consolation.
- Ryan is just finishing a run of Neil LaBute’s “Reasons to Be Pretty” at the Phoenix Theatre (I saw it twice; it stirred me proper!) and he will be in the Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre’s production of “Two Gentlemen of Verona” next weekend (August 6-8, 2010.) HART is a professional company but the three performances in White River State Park will be free and open to the public thanks to corporate sponsors. More info is on both the HART website and the WRSP website. Little birds have told me about some major upheavals and – pardon the expression – drama in HART’s leadership over the past year, but Ryan is a “destination actor” for me, and I enjoyed HART’s productions of “Much Ado About Nothing” and “The Merchant of Venice” in summers past, so whether the dust has finished settling or not, I’m going to see this show if I can carve out the time.
- Speaking of the Phoenix Theatre, “Pure Prine” is returning to the Phoenix this fall! All I have to say about that is “Yay!” and “Make your reservation early!” (See www.PhoenixTheatre.org for more info.)
- Improv teacher Dave Ruark told me at a party back in May that ComedySportz Indianapolis has been chosen to host the 2011 World Comedy League Championship Tournament next July. How fun is that! There is more information about the week-long event now on the www.indycomedysportz.com website. Yes!
- One of my favorite playwrights, James Still, sent me a “happy sabbatical” letter that included an article about a staged reading of one of his new plays in the 4th annual Telluride Playwrights Festival in Telluride, Colorado. Here is an excerpt from the news article by The Watch staff: “Love Me Some Amnesia takes place in a small town where buzzards feast on a dead Chevy, the local Wal-Mart hires only college graduates, and three men wait out the night in the company of a high school football trophy they’ve rescued from obscurity. It is a play that wants to be about revenge and glory and being a man – if only the characters could agree on what they can’t remember.” Doesn’t that sound as if it is funny and moving?! I hope I get a chance to see a production of “Love Me Some Amnesia” some day.
- Speaking of new plays, I appreciate that Ball State University student Christopher Swader sent me a detailed email about a new musical that he and several other BSU students and their professor, Beth Turcotte, have been working on. It is based on Cathy Day’s novel, The Circus in Winter. I love that book! It is a novel of related short stories set in an Indiana town where traveling circus performers used to live during their off season. It is fascinating. I really wanted to drive to Peru, Indiana during Circus Week last month to see one of the staged readings of the new piece, but I couldn’t. I hope to drive over to Muncie to see a performance of the full production this fall when it is part of BSU Theatre Department’s season. More information about the project is at http://www.bsu.edu/thecircusinwinter
- Speaking of invitations to road trip, I also was glad to receive emails from Jake Allen Miller, Associate Producing Artistic Director of the Shawnee Theatre in Bloomfield, Indiana and David J. Loehr from the RiverRun Theatre Company in Madison, Indiana. Even though I couldn’t get to either theatre this summer, I look forward to keeping them on my radar.
- Storytelling Arts of Indiana is running the 2nd Annual Liars Contest at the Indiana State Fair in the Pioneer Village at 7pm on Friday, August 6, 2010. I had fun being one of judges last year. I am not one of the judges this year (‘sorry, I don’t know who the judges are) but I am going to try to go to hear the stories anyway. What a great concept: just listening to stories for the pleasure of it! If you want to try your hand (your tongue?) at telling, or if you just want more information about the contest, there is more info at http://www.storytellingarts.org/liars-contest.html.
- I appreciate ALL of the media releases and informal theatre-related emails that people have sent me this summer. If you are one of those people, I hope you will continue! If you stopped sending me your theatre-related news over the summer because I was on a break, I hope you will go back to sending it to me. I don’t always have time or space to include every bit of news in one of my posts, but I definitely won’t include it if you don’t email it to me. Please cut, paste, and tweak: amarylliswriter at gmail dot com.
I have started pouring over the 2010 Indy Fringe Festival schedule, which is now up on the www.indyfringe.org website and which will come out in paper form in the August 4 issue of Nuvo. I am intrigued by the mix! More about this in another post, maybe.
I have also seen, enjoyed, and tweeted about seventeen shows so far while I have been on sabbatical. My 2010 Directory post shows which ones. Go to http://twitter.com/IndyTheatre if you want to read all of my tweets (including the purely conversational ones) but don’t want to join Twitter.
‘See you at the theatres!
Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com
Follow @IndyTheatre on Twitter.com, too.
(Photo above is called “A Postcard from the Edge (in color)” and was taken by Abby Lanes.)