Improv Diary: Begin in the Middle

This is my fourth week of an eight-week “Intermediate Improv for Adults” class at ComedySportz in downtown Indianapolis. 

What I Love About the Class

I love that the class is teaching me about story crafting as well as about acting.  It is not a writing class, but it makes me want to try writing fiction again.

I love that the class is teaching me about generosity, boundaries, and community on stage.  It’s too soon to tell if these lessons will affect the rest of my life, but I bet they will.

I love that the class is both mentally and (for me) physically demanding but not crushing.

I love that the class is thoughtfully structured, with a notebook of lesson plans that the instructors refer to, but within that structure, the instructors make each night unique.  They respond very specifically in the moment to our attempts, pulling from their own years of improv experience to offer advice.  I love that the instructors take the work seriously without taking themselves seriously. 

I love that the fifth rule of improv at ComedySportz Indy is “Have fun.”

“There’s no way to do this wrong,” instructor Michael Davis said on the first day.  “However, there are always choices.  Some choices are stronger than others, so I’ll be giving you feedback to help you learn how to make the stronger choices more often, but don’t worry about…” making a mistake, being imperfect, looking foolish, whatever.

I “failed” again and again that first night (and in the nights since) but it was in an atmosphere that made me want to keep going, keep trying, keep working, keep playing.

The Rules

There are actually all kinds of rules in improv, but here are the five we started out with:

1.   Pay attention.  (For example, if your scene partner mimes putting a chair in the middle of the stage, don’t walk through it a few moments later.)

2.   Agree. (For example, if you enter a scene thinking you’re going to be in a garden shed and your scene partner says, “Welcome to Disneyland!” then just go ahead and turn your imaginary rake into an imaginary mouse balloon or whatever.)

3.   Put the ensemble first. (Don’t judge or blame.  Do contribute.  Don’t overwhelm.)

4.   Commit. (For example, if you find you’ve become a frog in a scene, then hop your little heart out.  Use all your energy.)

5.   Have fun.

6.   There are no rules.

Other rules that have come up along the way so far:

  • Don’t ask questions.  Michael said that asking questions is what we’ve all been trained to do, socially, to show that we’re interested in other people, but in an improv scene it just means you are making your scene partner do all the work.  So, for example, don’t say, “What are you holding there?” say, “I love that machete you’ve got there.”  Don’t say “What are you going to do with it?” say, “Boy, I hope you’re planning to use that machete on the weeds in the back yard rather than on my neck” or whatever.  If you forget and do ask a question, fix it yourself by turning your question into a statement.
  • Begin in the middle.  Use names and other things to show that you and your scene partner have pre-established relationships.  The “hi, nice to meet you” stuff is boring. 
  • Get out the names, place, and situation as soon as you can.
  • Don’t block other people’s ideas. (Wait, that’s the same as the Agreement rule.)
  • Listen, watch, remember.  (Wait, that’s the same as the Pay Attention rule.  Hmm.  Maybe everything is a version of those basic five rules after all.)

Warmups and Tools

So far, we have had three instructors: Michael Davis, Jon Colby, and Ed Trout, all excellent.  I think Michael will be teaching most of the rest of the sessions but it is nice to work with other gurus once in a while. 

No matter who is teaching, each week we first stand in a circle and stretch and chat a bit.  Then we play games in a circle:  to warm up our mouths and vocal chords; to raise our energy; to focus our attention; and to hone our imaginations.

Then we take turns getting up on the tiny ComedySportz stage and doing various kinds of scenes.  Michael said this week that both the warm-ups and the scene work are meant to give us tools that will come in handy with any kind of improv work.  I think they will come in handy with life, too, but as I said earlier, it’s too soon to tell.

My Take-Aways So Far

Each two-hour class is filled with experiences and ideas.  Here are some things that particularly resonated with me:

Week One:  Most people that do improv will tell you that “Yes, and…” is the most important thing to remember.  I realized as we worked that first night that this expression does not mean “be a doormat.”  The “and” is as rich and important as the “yes.”  Yes, I accept what you’re saying and doing AND I’m now saying and doing such-and-such to help us move forward in the story.  The story on stage or the story of our lives.

Week TwoToday is the day that _____ happens.  ComedySportz shows are funny but actually, improv work is not about being funny.  This surprised me.  Improv is about being honest and open and strong and vulnerable and present in the here and now.  People like to laugh, but even more, they like to watch authenticity.  Also, people like to watch someone going to the place where they want to go but are reluctant.  Improv is about the unusual, even the unique. If it happens every day, why show it?  In improv, today is the day that a meek man tells off his boss, asks out his neighbor, takes a voyage, whatever he wants to do but would normally not do because of his inhibitions.  And what an optimistic, exhilarating approach to real life, too!  Today is unique! Today is the day a drunk man stumbles into our class, thinking ComedySportz is a bar, and our instructor, Jon, says firmly, “Yes, and I need you to leave now.”  Today is the day a gorgeous man offers strong, independent me his hand to help me down a tricky set of stairs, and I accept and am simply grateful for the help.  Today is the day that _____ happens.  I wonder what the “blank” will be today!

Week Three:  We worked hard this week on discovering and developing characters, first by “walking them” and then by using their inner and outer wants to drive scenes.  We practiced building tension with silence, too, and other improv tools.  It was all fascinating and more complex than anything we had done before, and by the end of the night I was exhausted and very aware of the opportunities I’d missed in our scene work.  Ed said, “Forgive yourself.  If you missed opportunities, eh, it’s improv.  You’ll never have to see it again.  Of course, the reverse is true, too.  If it was brilliant, you’ll never get to see it again, either.”  In either case, that’s just life.  I mean, improv.

Week Four: This week we continued to work hard.  Michael told us afterwards that the black notebook calls this lesson “Keeping the Story in the Scene.”  We did “freezes” – where two people do a scene for a few moments until Michael says, “Freeze!  Hope, change places with ___.” Then I go up on stage and put my body in the exact same position as my classmate’s. She or he leaves the stage and then my other classmate and I start a new scene from that frozen position.  We also practiced doing 3-person scenes in which the first two people give the 3rd person usable information about himself (or herself) before he enters, through their conversation.  It is much more helpful to say something like, “you know, my friend Joe that limps” than “my friend Joe who has brown hair,” for example.  We also practiced paring down minute-long scenes into 45 seconds, then 12 seconds, then 6.  Then we practiced expanding a 6-second scene into a minute, which was much harder to do.   I realized that even though I am taking this class for personal growth rather than from any desire to get back on stage for a paying audience, I am still interested in the artistry of the work as well as the therapy of it.  Michael said, “One difference between doing improv and just playing make-believe on the playground is that in improv you say, ‘Later, at the barn’ or you open an imaginary door and walk out to the barn.  You don’t just appear there.”  Improv is a lot of fun, and it offers food for thought about life, but it is also worthy of respect as an art form.

Homework (aka Icing!)

This 8-week, 2-hours-per-week course cost $195, which is a bargain in and of itself, but guess what else?!  Everyone in the class received a handful of free passes to ComedySportz shows so that we can go to them for observation and enjoyment as “homework” in between classes!  What a treat!

‘See you at the theatres, including Comedy Sportz…

Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com and @IndyTheatre on Twitter.

(Photo above taken by me with my trusty old iPhone.) 

© 2013 Hope Baugh

Celebrating Five Years of Indy Theatre Habit

I have been writing this blog for five years as of today.  Happy birthday, Indy Theatre Habit!

And to everyone that reads my blog: thank you for reading!

‘See you at the theatres…

Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com and @IndyTheatre on Twitter.

©2013 Hope Baugh

Photo above was taken by Chris Gladis (MShades on Flickr.com.)

Theatre Review: “Jackie and Me” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre

I leapt to my feet to applaud at the end of “Jackie and Me” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre a couple weekends ago.  It is funny, moving, informative, fun…and, based on what several people have told me, it appeals to baseball fans and others across generations.  I loved it completely and would like to see it again before it closes.

Continue reading Theatre Review: “Jackie and Me” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre

Hope’s Theatre Year 2012: The Best, the Most, the Other…

I know, I know: most people have already shared their “best of 2012” lists and moved on.  What can I say?  Sometimes I like to linger.

Before I talk about the shows that impressed me and/or affected me most in 2012, I’d like to make note of a few other things that were unique to this past year for me:

 

Continue reading Hope’s Theatre Year 2012: The Best, the Most, the Other…

Theatre Review: “Guapa” at the Phoenix

My first show of 2013 was the opening performance of the rolling world premiere of “Guapa” by Caridad Svich at the Phoenix Theatre in downtown Indianapolis.

“Rolling world premiere” means that three theatres in the National New Play Network are producing this play within a few months of each other, in one coordinated effort.  I know from sitting in on the NNPN’s annual conference when it was held here in Indy a few years ago that the artistic directors for these theatres are picky, passionate people, so when they select a new play to produce out of the many that they have considered, I’m always interested in sharing the risk by seeing it.

I’m glad I saw “Guapa.”  I had a variety of responses to it, some of which bloomed within me in a sort of timed-release way (hah!) and I’m going to write about them below without worrying about spoilers.  So should you see this show?  Of course you should! Go see it and let it speak to you in its own way.  Don’t dawdle, though. It runs only two more weekends and the final two performances are in Spanish.

Continue reading Theatre Review: “Guapa” at the Phoenix

Theatre Review: “Arsenic & Old Lace” at Beef and Boards

On the last Friday night in 2012 I drove to the Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre on the north side of Indianapolis to see the opening night performance of “Arsenic & Old Lace,” by Joseph Kesselring.  It was my first time to see this classic show and my first time as a VIP member at B&B.  This is also the first show in B&B’s 40th season. (40 years!  Congratulations, B&B!  Here’s to 40 more!)

I had heard of this play before, of course – I think we read it aloud in English class when I was in high school – but I had missed other opportunities to see it produced in the five years that I’ve been writing this theatre blog. 

Now that B&B’s delightful production, directed by J. R. Stewart, has set the bar for me, I’ll try harder to see it wherever it is on stage.  I will also look for the film that made it famous – the 1941 Frank Capra film starring Cary Grant – at my local public library. What a darkly comic romp!

The Brewsters At Home In Brooklyn

The casting in this particular production is lovely across the board, with performances that are consistently strong and believable:

Continue reading Theatre Review: “Arsenic & Old Lace” at Beef and Boards

2013 Directory of Shows

(Last updated 1/8/14)

It’s that time again: time to set up my Directory of Shows Seen for the year. By a quick count, I saw 76.5 live theatre or storytelling shows (85.5 performances) in 26 theatres in 2012.  For comparison: I think I saw 91 live theatre shows in 2011, 120 in 2010, 134 in 2009, and 144 in 2008.

As in previous years, I will add to this Directory every time I see a show, and I will enjoy looking back over it at the end of the year and in years to come. If you are curious about what I’ve been seeing, feel free to check back here any time.

There are two parts: 1) shows organized alphabetically by performance company or festival and 2) shows in the chronological order in which I saw them, like a diary or log.

I will also try to keep labeling the companies as either “professional” (all of the company’s artists and staff are paid for their work), “all volunteer” (none of the company’s artists or staff are paid), or “hybrid” (the company has a mixture of paid artists/staff and volunteers.) However, as I’m sure you know, “professional” does not necessarily mean high quality and “all volunteer” does not necessarily mean disappointing quality. Also, in the Indianapolis area, there are very, very few theatres that pay their artists a living wage, so in some ways these labels are meaningless.

If I write about a show, I will link to the post here, too.

All venues are in Indiana (USA) unless otherwise noted.

Shows I’ve seen so far in 2013 in order by performance company or festival:

Actors Theatre of Indiana – professional; Carmel

Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre– professional; Indianapolis

  • 9 to 5
  • “Father of the Bride”
  • “Les Miserables”
  • “Menopause the Musical”
  • “Smoke on the Mountain”
  • “The Sound of Music”
  • “Winnie the Pooh”

The Belfry Theatre – all volunteer – member Encore Association; Noblesville

  • “They Came From Mars and Landed Outside the Farndale Avenue Church Hall In Time for the Townswoman’s Guild’s Coffee Morning”

Bobdirex – professional; Indianapolis, usually at the Athenaeum

  • “Spamalot” – twice

Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre – hybrid; Carmel

  • “Into the Woods”

Broadway in Indianapolis – professional, touring; Indianapolis

  • “Sister Act” at the Murat Theatre in the Old National Centre

Buck Creek Players – all volunteer – member Encore Association; Indianapolis

  • “City of Angels”

Carmel Community Players – all volunteer – member Encore Association; Carmel

  • “Steel Magnolias”

Chef Joseph’s at the Connoisseur Room – professional; Indianapolis

  • “Claire Wilcher”

The Children’s Museum – professional; Indianapolis

  • “The Magic Snowman”
  • “Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale”
  • “The Tortoise and the Hare”

ComedySportz Indianapolis – professional; Indianapolis

Defiance Comedy – hybrid; Indianapolis

  • “Boy Band, Episode 2: Battle of the Boy Bands 2013” at the White Rabbit Cabaret

EclecticPond Theatre Company – hybrid; Indianapolis

  • “10×10: Brevity Is the Soul of Wit” at the Irvington Lodge
  • “The Importance of Being Earnest” at the Irvington Lodge
  • “10×10: Shakespeare” at the Irvington Lodge – reprise
  • See also “Shakespeare Wrote What?” in the 2013 Indy Fringe Theatre Festival

Epilogue Players – all volunteer – member Encore Association; Indianapolis

  • “Two Nights Only”

Footlite Musicals – all volunteer – member Encore Association; Indianapolis

  • “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” – twice
  • “Follies”

Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre – professional; Indianapolis

  • “The Taming of the Shrew” in White River State Park

Indiana Repertory Theatre – professional; Indianapolis

  • Jackie and Me
  • “A Little Night Music”
  • “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
  • “The Whipping Man”

Indy Actors Playground – free staged readings done by professional actors with a different actor choosing the surprise play each month; coordinated by Bill Simmons and Lou Harry, held at Indy Reads Books, usually the 3rd Monday of the month; Indianapolis

  • “Becky Shaw” – written by Gina Gionfriddo, chosen and cast by Karen Irwin.
  • “Betty’s Summer Vacation” – written by Christopher Durang, chosen and cast by Scot Greenwell.
  • “The Play’s the Thing” – written by P. G. Wodehouse, chosen and cast by Rob Johansen.

Indy Fringe Theatre – mixture from many artists and companies; Indianapolis

  • “Stewart Talks, Paul Plays, Etc. Just Show Up!”
  • See also the Frank Basile Emerging Stories Festival under Storytelling Arts of Indiana, and the Indy Fringe Theatre Festival 2013.

Indy Fringe Theatre Festival 2013 –  I wrote about all 27 (28 performances, total) of these shows in one post: http://www.indytheatrehabit.com/2013/08/16/a-librarians-guide-to-the-2013-indy-fringe-theatre-festival/

  • “Abraham Lincoln: Hoosier Hero” – solo show written and performed by Danny Russell on the Theatre on the Square’s Second Stage.
  • “The All-New Bonnie Bitch’s Obey Comedy Hypnosis Show” – Theatre on the Square Main Stage
  • “A Baptist Girl’s Guide to Sex, Love and Happiness” – solo storytelling show written and performed by Lou Ann Homan on the Phoenix Basile sage.
  • “The Beast, the Lady, and the Sanguine Man” – presented by NoExit Performance in the Phoenix Theatre.
  • “The Billy Willy Show” – ComedySportz
  • “Burning Brothels: Sex and Death in Nevada” – a solo show written and performed by Katherine Glover on the ComedySportz stage.
  • “Cathedral City” – solo show written and performed by Kurt Fitzpatrick on Theatre on the Square’s Second Stage.  I saw this show twice.
  • “De Sade” – music and lyrics written by Ben Asaykwee based on the writing of the Marquis de Sade. Presented by Q Artistry in the Phoenix Theatre.
  • “Dirk Darrow: NCSSI (Not Completely Serious Supernatural Investigator)” – solo magic show written and performed by Dirk Darrow on the ComedySportz stage.
  • “The Greatest Speech of All Time” – Performed by Timothy Mooney on the Phoenix Theatre Basile Stage
  • “I Named My Penis Linda” – solo show written and performed by comedian Stewart Huff on the ComedySportz stage
  • “La Vie, L’amour (Life, Love)” – vocalist Gail Payne accompanied by pianist David Duncan performed in the Cook Theatre.
  • “Lashes Off..Songs of Sex, Secrets, and Stripping” – created by Lynn Lupold and Kenny Shepard, produced by Red Boat Productions and Sold Out Run, performed on the Theatre on the Square’s Main Stage.
  • “The Pureville Townhall Meeting” – written and performed by Susan Rex Wolfley, presented by SquinchyFace Productions on the Cook Theatre stage.
  • “Rough Sex and Other Bad Words” solo show written and performed by Michael Todd Swinford on the Theatre on the Square’s Second Stage.
  • “Shakespeare Wrote What…?” – presented by Eclectic Pond Theatre Company at the Phoenix Theatre.
  • “Stairway to Kevin” – solo storytelling and music show written and performed by Kevin Thornton in the Indy Fringe Theatre building.
  • “Tapman” – tap dancing/singing/storytelling show written by Tristan Burns and performed by him and three other dancers in the Cook Theatre.
  • “Trailer Park American: Story of a Progressive White Trash Liberal” – solo show written and performed by comedian Mat Alano-Martin on the ComedySportz stage.
  • “Two Motherf#ck*rs On a Ledge” – written by Ronn Johnstone, directed by Callie Burk, presented by Wisdom Tooth Productions on the Theatre on the Square’s Second Stage.
  • “Underneath the Lintel” – solo play written by Glen Berger, performed by Pat O’Brien on the Phoenix Theatre’s Basile stage.
  • “Waiting: a Love Story” – solo show written and performed by Sherri Rose on the Babeca stage.
  • “We May Very Well Be Sued – a Dalt Wisney Tribute” – written and performed by the members of Three Dollar Bill Comedy in the Phoenix Theatre.
  • “Welcome to the Monkey House” – ShadowApe Theatre Company adapted stories by Kurt Vonnegut and presented them in the Phoenix Theatre
  • “What Biscuits” – solo comedy show written and performed by Phil Van Hest performed on the ComedySportz stage.
  • “Wry” – solo show written and performed by Kim McCann on the Phoenix Theatre Basile stage.
  • “Yelling at Bananas in Whole Foods” solo show written and performed by Dan Bernitt on the Basile stage of the Phoenix Theatre.

Ivy Tech Student Productions – hybrid; Bloomington

  • “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” at the Waldron

Miscellaneous

  • Anne-Sophie Mutter” at the Palladium in the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel
  • “Dolphin Show” at the Indianapolis Zoo
  • “From the West End” – Indy Men’s Chorus at the Indiana History Center
  • Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” by Stephen King and John Mellencamp at the IU Auditorium in Bloomington.
  • “Peter Pan” by the Indiana Dance Ensemble at the Tarkington Theatre in the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel
  • “Spring Concert” – 1st graders at Carmel Elementary School in Carmel

NoExit Performance – hybrid; Indianapolis

  • “Nutcracker” at the Irvington Theatre (twice)
  • “Our Experiences During the First Days of Alligators” on an installation stage at Garfield Park
  • Yellow Wallpaper” at the Irvington Lodge
  • “This is NOT Shakespeare’s Macbeth” at the Irvington Office Center
  • See also the 2013 Indy Fringe Theatre Festival

Off-Main Street Players – all volunteer; Zionsville

  • “Amateurs” – twice

Opera Notre Dame – hybrid; South Bend

  • “Dialogues des Carmelites”

Phoenix Theatre – professional; Indianapolis

  • “4000 Miles” – twice
  • “Clybourne Park”
  • Guapa
  • “Love, Lost, and What I Wore”
  • “The Lyons” – twice
  • Next to Normal
  • “Rancho Mirage”
  • “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”
  • “A Very Phoenix Xmas 8: Angels We Have Heard While High”

Q Artistry – hybrid; Indianapolis

  • “Fowl”
  • “Grendel” in association with Half/Black Productions at the Irvington Lodge.
  • “Treasure Island: Rock ‘n’ the Ocean”
  • Zirkus Grimm” – 3 times
  • See also “De Sade” in the 2013 Indy Fringe Theatre Festival

Say When Theatre Company – all volunteer? (possibly all college students); Fishers

  • “Melancholy Play”

Stageworthy Productions – all volunteer – member Encore Association; Indianapolis

Storytelling Arts of Indiana – professional; Indianapolis

  • “Celtic Harp and Story” by Patrick Ball at the Indiana History Center
  • “Chicken Soup for the Chicken” by Kevin Kling at the Indiana History Center
  • Frank Basile Emerging Stories Festival at the Indy Fringe Theatre: “Army Life for Father” developed and performed by Bob and Kathi Myers
  • Frank Basile Emerging Stories Festival at the Indy Fringe Theatre: “Woman Versus the Blues” developed and performed by Deborah Asante as Suki Lue Ambers
  • Frank Basile Emerging Stories Festival at the Indy Fringe Theatre: “Too Crazy to Know Better” developed and performed by Sandra Harris
  • Frank Basile Emerging Stories Festival at the Indy Fringe Theatre: “I Grew Up in the U.S. Navy” developed and performed by John Robertson
  • Frank Basile Emerging Stories Festival at the Indy Fringe Theatre: “Abigail Gray: Follow the Drinking Gourd” developed and performed by Sharon Kirk Clifton as the title character
  • Frank Basile Emerging Stories Festival at the Indy Fringe Theatre: “Hoosier in Tokyo: A Tale of Leaving Home and Finding It Again” developed and performed by Hope Baugh
  • Frank Basile Emerging Stories Festival at the Indy Fringe Theatre: “Gathering Coal for the Lord” developed and performed by Lou Ann Homan
  • Frank Basile Emerging Stories Festival at the Indy Fringe Theatre: “The Space” developed and performed by George Shricker
  • Frank Basile Emerging Stories Festival at the Indy Fringe Theatre: “With This Brush” developed and performed by Sondra Hayes Hartman
  • Frank Basile Emerging Stories Festival at the Indy Fringe Theatre: “The Rivertown Dispatch” developed and performed by Jennie Kiffmeyer
  • Frank Basile Emerging Stories Festival at the Indy Fringe Theatre: “Tails from the Kennel” developed and performed by Sallie Perkins
  • “Go Tell It On the Mountain: Songs and Stories of Light featuring Kim and Reggie Harris”
  • “Hello Ricky Nelson, Goodbye Heart” by Barbara McBride-Smith at the Indiana History Center

Theatre on the Square (TOTS) – hybrid; Indianapolis

Three Dollar Bill Comedy – professional; Indianapolis

  • “Waiting Up” at the Indy Fringe Theatre building
  • See also the Indy Fringe Theatre Festival

Two First Name Productions – professional; Indianapolis

  • “Going…Going…Gone!” – January edition at the Indy Fringe Theatre
  • See also Indy Fringe Theatre Festival 2013

Westfield Playhouse/Mainstreet Productions of Westfield – all volunteer; Westfield

  • “Agnes of God”

*****************************************************************************************

Shows I’ve seen so far in 2013 in the order I saw them:

Thursday, January 3 – “Guapa” by Caridad Svich at the Phoenix Theatre.  Produced and directed by Bryan Fonseca.

Sunday, January 6 – “The Magic Snowman” by Stephen Murray at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Directed by Ty Stover, this show starred Ben Asaykwee, Michael Hosp, Jaddy Ciucci, and Patrick Mullen, accompanied by music director Teresa O’Connell on on-stage piano.  Theatre manager: Krista Layfield.  Choreography by Kenny Shepard.  Scenic design by Jay Gant. Costume design/construction by Brian Horton. Lighting Design/Sound engineering by Brent Winderlich. Stage manager/scenic painting: Abigail Copeland. Front of house:  Sara Thomas. VP of Exp. Development/Family Learning: Jennifer Pace Robinson.

Sunday, January 6 – “Going..Going..Gone! – January edition” by Lou Harry and John Thomas at the Indy Fringe Theatre. This month featured three actors from NoExit Performance Company: Georgeanna Smith, Ryan Mullins, and Matthew Goodrich.

Monday, January 7 – Level 2 Intermediate Improv Class at ComedySportz. Teacher: Michael Davis.

Saturday, January 12 – “Jackie and Me” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre.

Saturday, January 12 – “10×10: Brevity Is the Soul of Wit” – Shakespeare’s top ten plays, ten minutes each. Adapted by Thomas Cardwell and Jeremy Grimmer. Directed by Thomas Cardwell. Presented by EclecticPond Theatre Company at the Irvington Lodge.

Monday, January 14 – Level 2 Intermediate Improv Class at ComedySportz.  Teacher: Jon Colby.

Friday, January 18 – “Cinderella, Unscripted” – ComedySportz.  (I used a free pass from improv class.)

Saturday, Janury 19 – “Hello Ricky Nelson, Goodbye Heart” storytelling program for adults told by Barbara McBride-Smith.  Presented by Storytelling Arts of Indiana at the Indiana History Center.

Monday, January 21 – Level 2 Intermediate Improv Class at ComedySportz.  Teacher: Ed Trout.

Monday, January 28 – Level 2 Intermediate Improv Class at ComedySportz. Teacher: Michael Davis.

Thursday, January 31 – “Next to Normal” – Phoenix Theatre.

Friday, February 1 – “Cinderella Unscripted” – ComedySportz.  (I used another free pass from improv class.)

Thursday, February 7 – “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” – Ivy Tech at Waldron Center – Bloomington.

Friday, February 8 – “Musical of Musicals” – Actors Theatre of Indiana at the Studio Theatre – Carmel.

Saturday, February 9 – “A Little Night Music” – Indiana Repertory Theatre.

Saturday, February 9 – “Grendel” – Half Black Productions and Q Artistry at the Irvington Lodge.

Monday, February 11 – Level 2 Intermediate Improv Class at ComedySportz.  Teacher: Dave Ruark.

Tuesday, February 12 – “9 to 5” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre.

Friday, February 15 – “Naked Boys Singing” at Theatre on the Square (TOTS).

Monday, February 18 – Level 2 Intermediate Improv Class at ComedySportz.  Teacher: Dave Ruark.

Thursday, February 21 – “Yellow Wallpaper,” adapted by Ryan Mullins from a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Directed by Ryan Mullins for NoExit Performance at Q Artistry’s venue.

Saturday, March 2 – “Nocturne,” written by Adam Rapp.  Directed by John Kastner for Stageworthy Productions.

Sunday, March 3 – “Steel Magnolias,” written by Robert Harling.  Directed by Jason Gloye for Carmel Community Players. Cast:  Laura Baltz as Truvy; Casey Votaw as Annelle; Joellyn Young as Clairee; Sarah McGee as Shelby; Vickie Cornelius Phipps as M’lynn; Lori Raffel as Ouiser.  Assistant director: Nate Walden.  Producer: Vince Acceturo.  Costumes: cast.  Set design: Lori Raffel.  Set decoration: Lori Raffel and Jason Gloye.  Set construction: Michael Gloye, Zoya Gloye, Larry Montag, Jason Gloye, Tiffany Johnsen, Sarah McGee, Joellyn Young, Lori Raffel, Laura baltz, Brett Baltz.  Excecutive producer: Larry Montag.  Sound design: Nate Walden.  Lighting design: Perry Hilficker.  Light and sound board op:  Logan Graham.  Properties: cast, Christian Baltz.  Stage manager: Addison D. Ahrendts.  Program and poster design: Lori Raffel.

Sunday, March 3 – “Sister Act” touring production presented by Broadway in Indianapolis at the Murat Theatre at Old National Centre.  Music by Alan Menken.  Lyrics by Glenn Slater. Book by Cheri Steinkellner and Bill Steinkellner with additional book material by Douglas Carter Beane.  Based on the Touchstone Pictures Motion Picture “Sister Act” written by Joesph Howard.  Starring Ta-Rea Campbell as Delores Van Cartier and Hollis Resnik as Mother Superior.   Florrie Bagel is Mary Patrick.  Charles Barksdale is TJ.  E. Clayton Cornelious is Eddie Souther.  Diane J. Findlay is Mary Lazarus.  Todd A. Horman is Joey.  Kingsley Leggs is Curtis Jackson.  Richard Pruitt is Monsignor O’Hara.  Ernie Pruneda is Pablo.  Lael Van Keuren is  Mary Robert.  Ensemble:  Melvin Abston, Brian Cali, Alysha Deslorieux, Karen Elliott, Danny George, Blair Goldberg, Jacqui Graziano, Erin Henry, Wendy James, Trisha Jeffrey, Mary Jo McConnell, Ashley Moniz, Michelle Rombola, Jason Simon, Angie Marie Smith, Tricia Tanguy, Kelly E. Waters, Dashaun Young.  Directed by Jerry Zaks.  Choreography by Anthony Van Laast.  Producers: Whoopi Goldberg, Joop Van Den Ende, Bill Taylor and Randall A. Buck.  Scenic design: Klara Zieglerova.  Costume design: Lez Brotherston.  Lighting design: Natasha Katz.  Sound design: Ken Travis.  Wig and hair design: David Brian Brown.  Technical supervision:  MB Productions.  Associate director: Steven Beckler.  Associate choreographer: Janet Rothermel.  Music director: Brent-Alan Huffman. Orchestrations: Doug Besterman.  Dance music arranger: Mark Hummel.  Music coordinator:  Talitha Fehr and TL Music International.  Music supervisor, vocal and incidental music arrangements:  Michael Kosarin.

Thursday, March 7 – “The Lyons” at the Phoenix Theatre.

Friday, March 8 – Violinist “Anne-Sophie Mutter” at the Palladium, with pianist Lambert Orkis.

Thursday, March 14 – “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” at Footlite Musicals.

Saturday, March 16 – “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” at Footlite Musicals. (2nd time)

Sunday, March 17 – “The Lyons” at the Phoenixt Theatre. (2nd time)

Sunday, March 17 – “Killing Kittens” at Theatre on the Square.

Tuesday, March 19 – “The Whipping Man,” written by Matthew Lopez – Indiana Repertory Theatre.

Wednesday, March 20 – “Boy Bands, Episode Two: Battle of the Boy Bands 2013,” written by Matt Kramer and presented by Defiance Comedy at the White Rabbit Cabaret in Fountain Square.

Tuesday, April 2 – “Menopause the Musical” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre.

Friday, April 5 – “From the West End” – Indy Men’s Chorus with Claire Wilcher and Jacquelynne Fontaine at the Indiana History Center.

Saturday, April 13 – “Chicken Soup for the Chicken” storytelling by Kevin Kling as part of Storytelling Arts of Indiana’s annual fundraiser, “The Talk of the Town” at the Indiana History Center.

Sunday, April 14 – “Clybourne Park” at the Phoenix Theatre

Sunday, April 21 – “The Tortoise and the Hare” at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Thursday, April 25 – “Stewart Talks, Paul Plays, Etc. Just Show Up!” – comedians Paul Strickland and Stewart Huff at the Indy Fringe Theatre

Saturday, April 27 – “Dialogues des Carmelites” – presented by Notre Dame Opera at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana.

Saturday, April 28 – “The Importance of Being Earnest,” written by Oscar Wilde, directed by Paige Scott for Eclectic Pond Theatre Company at the Irvington Lodge.

Tuesday, April 30 – “Spring Concert” by the 1st Graders at Carmel Elementary School.

Thursday, May 1 – “Into the Woods” at Booth Tarkington Civic.

Sunday, May 5 – “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre

Thursday, May 9 – “Follies” by Footlite Musicals at the Hedback Theatre

Sunday, May 12 – “Fowl” presented by QArtistry

Thursday, May 16 – “Our Experiences During the First Days of Alligators,” written by David Hoppe, directed by Georgeanna Smith for NoExit Performance. Performed on an installation stage at Garfield Park.

Saturday, May 18 – “Peter Pan” presented by Indiana Dance Ensemble at the Tarkington Theatre in the Center for the Performing Arts.

Sunday, May 19 – “Dolphin Show” at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Sunday, May 19 – “4000 Miles” written by Amy Herzog, directed by Bill Simmons at the Phoenix Theatre.

Monday, May 20 – “Betty’s Summer Vacation” written by Christopher Durang. A staged reading at Indy Reads Books, part of the Indy Actors’s Playground monthly series. This one was presented by Bill Simmons and hosted/selected by Scot Greenwell.  The stage directions were read by Chris Saunders.  The actors included Scot Greenwell, Erin Cohenour, Scott Russell, Rob Johansen, Megan McKinney, Georgeanna Smith, Claire Wilcher, Pete Lindblom, and Zach (Zachariah) Stonerock.

Thursday, May 23 – “4000 Miles” at the Phoenix Theatre – a second time.

Saturday, May 25 – “Two Nights Only” fundraiser cabaret for Epilogue Players. Directed by William Andrews and MC’d by Susan Page Freeman. They also sang. No paper program so only my memory tells me that the other performers included Ginny Pugh Spellman, Jodi Stockton, Erin Cohenour, and…

Tuesday, May 28 – “The Sound of Music” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre.

Saturday, June 8 – “Amateurs” by the Off Main Street Players in Zionsville.  Written by Tom Griffin. Directed by Marcus Waye.14

Friday, June 14 – “Amateurs” by the Off Main Street Players in Zionsville – a second time.

Saturday, June 15 – “City of Angels” at Buck Creek Players.

Sunday, June 23 – “Spamalot” by Bobdirex at the Athenaeum.

Thursday, June 27 – “This is NOT Shakespeare’s Macbeth” by NoExit Performance at the Irvington Office Center. ” Afterwards, I tweeted: “‘Intense!’ – Mike. ‘Creative!’ – Don. ‘Bloody!’ – Hope.”

Saturday, June 98 – Spamalot” by Bobdirex at the Athenaeum – a second time. Afterwards, I tweeted:

  • “‘Hummed ‘Always Look On the Bright Side of Life’ back to my car. Gorgeous night on #MassAve in #Indy & I am in love with all of #indystage.”
  • “Fun talking with @DTIndyMike, @IndyGowan & his wife, Darla, at final perf of @bobdirex’s #SpamalotIndy. Fun people-watching, too.”
  • “But most fun of all was the #SpamalotIndy show itself. WHAT a treat! I’m sad I can’t see it again and again and again. #indystage.”
  • “Chuck, you were outstanding at Arthur! So glad I was there! RT @chazgoad: So glad you enjoyed Spamalot! It was a fun ride to be on!”
  • (and a few days later) “I’m not dead yet either. (Still thinking about @bobdirex’s ‘Spamalot.’) #indystage #life”

Sunday, June 30 – “Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Tale” at the Lilly Theater in the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Afterwards, I tweeted:

  • “The godkids & I loved @TCMIndy’s beautiful, funny ‘Rapunzel.’ The whole big crowd stayed enrapt the whole time. Fun! #Indy #Indystage.”
  • “@JennyLauren428 My godson loved the ‘stinky feet’ joke best and I loved the singing best but yes, Edgar did do a good job with R’s hair! lol”

Thursday, July 11 – Clay Mabbit interviewed me for his “Sold Out Run” podcast. (Podcast #15.)

Friday, July 12 – “Melancholy Play” by Sarah Ruhl, produced by the Say When Theatre Company at the Ambassador House in the Heritage Gardens in Fishers, Indiana. Afterwards, I tweeted:

  • “The playwright decided where I ended up 2night. I love Sarah Ruhl. #indystage #fishers @SayWhenTheatre pic.twitter.com/eyLx950eVw”
  • “This is the Ambassador House in #Fisher’s Heritage Gardens. Lovely setting for an #indystage show! pic.twitter.com/gJhmERdyTJ”
  • “The ‘stage’ is under a tent around the back of the house. I love intimate #indystage settings! pic.twitter.com/IBggPdJKLH.” (I or l)
  • “No theatre lights or sound equipment that I can see but we’re surrounded by flowers, and there’s a cello! @SayWhenTheatre #indystage”
  • “OH: MANY fans of director Zach Donovan & cast. 2-nite run. @SayWhenTheatre’s “Melancholy Play” sold out (62 tix) last night. #indystage”
  • “I know nothing about this company, director, or cast but/and I’m glad to be here to hear/see a new2me Ruhl play. @SayWhenTheatre #indystage”
  • “Oh, that prod of Sarah Ruhl’s ‘Melancholy Play’ was a TREAT. @SayWhenTheatre of #Fishers is def’ly on my #indystage radar now.”
  • “@Zach_Donovan Yay! Please tell your cast the feeling was mutual. 🙂 And please keep in touch. I’d like to hear about future productions.”

Saturday, July 13 – “Zirkus Grimm” – a musical by Ben Asaykwee and Q Artistry, based on stories by the Brothers Grimm. I tweeted:

  • I’m IN a circus tent for @QArtistry’s indoor “Zirkus Grimm.” Very cool. #Indy #indystage
  • Interm. @QArtistry’s “Zirkus Grimm.” Lots to think about! Sexy, creative people singing, dancing, & storytelling up close.  #indystage #indy
  • OH after @QArtistry’s “Zirkus Grimm” – “Awesome is an understatement.” I liked it, too. 🙂 #indystage #indy
  • There were sound problems at first in @QArtistry’s ZirkusGrimm but they were fixed as the show went on. #indy #indystage
  • Exciting, exquisite & ultimately endearing, @QArtistry’s “Zirkus Grimm” is a richly creative treatment of iconic stories. #indystage #Indy
  • Nor for (most) kids & not for last-minute whims. @QArtistry’s ZirkusGrimm is looking to have a sold out run. #indystage #indy #makers
  • Actually, nein. DON’T buy tix to the world premiere of @QArtistry’s “Zirkus Grimm.” I’d like to see it several more times.
  • Just kidding. Go ahead and buy ZirkusGrimm tix. But I do want to see this new @QArtistry show again if I can.
  • (the next day) ‘Slept deeply, intense dreams, woke up thinking about @QArtistry’s richly-layered “Zirkus Grimm.” Must. See. Again! #indy #indystage

Monday, July 15 – Indy Actors Playground at Indy Reads Books. Karen Irwin’s pick: Gina Gionfriddo’s “Becky Shaw.” Afterwards, I tweeted:

  • I agree w/play selector/actor @karendirwin that sometimes the best plays aren’t about huge, cataclysmic events but rather everyday glimpses.

Tuesday, July 16 – “Smoke on the Mountain” – Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre. I tweeted:

  • I’m at @beefandboards, waiting to see “Smoke on the Mountain.” ‘Been looking forward to this all day. #Indy #indystage
  • No balloons but @beefandboards is PACKED. ‘Bet there’ll be some anniversaries tonight anyway.
  • Jeff Stockberger sighting at @beefandboards. All turn to look, including me. OH (overheard) “He could do a whole show w/just his facial expressions!”
  • Funny, fun curtain talk at @beefandboards and yes, lots of birthdays and anniversaries. One couple 67 years! Whew!
  • I love seeing all the stringed instruments waiting on the @beefandboards stage. Almost time for “Smoke on the Mountain!” #indy #indystage
  • Intermission – @beefandboards’ “Smoke on the Mountain.” I’m laughing a lot & enjoying the music. #indy #indystage
  • Oh, my, this Episcopalian enjoyed her night with the Baptist singers in @beefandboards’ “Smoke on the Mountain.” #indy #indystage
  • I enjoyed all of the witness stories but I teared up during the last two. ‘Wouldn’t give nothing for my journey now either. @beefandboards
  • Okay, time for me to “fly away.” Not to heaven quite yet, I hope, but home, anyway. Thanks for a heart-warming evening, @beefandboards.
  • And thanks, server Miguel and assistants, for taking good care of me at @beefandboards tonight, too. As always. 🙂

Saturday, July 20 – “Zirkus Grimm” a second time – Q Artistry. After the show, I tweeted:

  • More tears from me tonight at @QArtistry’s “Zirkus Grimm.” #catharsis #indystage #indy
  • @Denise_Hayden Thanks for coming up & introducing yourself at intermission, & for the work you do on the @QArtistry board! #pleasures #Indy
  • @Kelsee422 @QArtistry Better sound this time so I understood more of the very moving lyrics. #Queenempathy #indystage #ZirkusGrimm
  • There’s a lot going on in @QArtistry’s “Zirkus Grimm” but I love the overflowing creative richness of it. #indy #indystage
  • (later) I’m up late, still thinking about how much I enjoyed @QArtistry’s richly creative “Zirkus Grimm” – even more the second time.

Saturday, July 27 – “Zirkus Grimm” a third time – Q Artistry (after an intense and useful 3-day Midwest Writers Conference in Muncie, Indiana). I tweeted:

  • 3 is the magic number, right? T’is my 3rd time to see “Zirkus Grimm.” My shoes are firmly laced but who knows what magic might happen anyway!
  • Intermission @QArtistry’s “Zirkus Grimm.” 3rd time, 3rd area of the theatre-in-the-round, 3rd kind of understanding & love. #indystage
  • Yep, I love that show. Thanks again, Ben Asaykwee and @QArtistry players for creating and performing “Zirkus Grimm.” #indystage

Saturday, August 3 – “Love, Lost, and What I Wore” by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron – Phoenix Theatre. I tweeted:

  • Whew-wee! Very FULL house downstairs at @Phoenix_Theatre for Ephron’s “Love, Loss, & What I Wore.” #indystage #indy
  • That should be Ephrons’ – this play is by Nora & Delia. #indystage #punctuationmatters
  • Front row, baby, ON the already-intimate Basile stage. ‘Had to ask Bryan for a hand up but I love the creative seating. #indystage
  • Time for Don Burris’ curtain talk. ‘See you after the show!
  • Oh, my, I enjoyed @Phoenix_Theatre’s “Love, Loss & What I Wore.” So many resonances. #indystage #indy
  • I want to go home & draw my fav dresses, too, & remember their related people & experiences, like Gingy did. @Phoenix_Theatre #indystage
  • You don’t have to care about clothes to relate to this play. Everyone has stuff they care about, that triggers memories. @Phoenix_Theatre.
  • Otoh, you can “choose high heels over thinking” or be “bad at purses” & feel at home in this show either way. @Phoenix_Theatre #indystage
  • Speaking of accessories, the @Phoenix_Theatre building is looking pretty fine with its new awning. (Too dark now to photo, ‘sorry.)
  • Really nice mix of actors, too: Gayle Steigerwald, Sara Riemen, Millicent Wright, Lori Raffel & Cindy Phillips. @Phoenix_Theatre #indystage
  • (a few days later) I think @Phoenix_Theatre added a 5pm Sun perf to final wknd of “Love, Loss, & What I Wore.” Understandable: many resonances. #indystage
  • (later) In other #indystage news, @Phoenix_Theatre has added 8 more perfs to “Love, Loss, & What I Wore” by Nora & Delia Ephron. (a second run, after Indy Fringe)

Saturday, August 10 – “The Taming of the Shrew” by William Shakespeare, produced by Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre HART) on the outdoor stage in White River Park. I tweeted:

  • I’m at a table in White River State Park with 2000? other Shakespeare fans. @HARTheatre #indystage #indy pic.twitter.com/HgAAnBlkca
  • Diane Timmerman giving the “Taming of the Shrew” curtain talk. ‘See you at intermission! #Indy #indystage pic.twitter.com/XKWth8Mgsc
  • Intermission – @HARTheatre’s “Taming of the Shrew” outdoors on a beautiful night in White River State Park. #Indy #indystage
  • A tipsy Petruchio (Ryan Artzberger) jumped in the water up to his hips right next to me on his way to marry Kate! @HARTheatre #indystage
  • I’m glad I paid $25 for a table seat. No-charge theatre is great but I like schlepping-free theatre even more. @HARTheatre #indy #indystage
  • I’m loving the show itself, in spite of very bad sound problems. @HARTheatre’s “Shrew” is packed w destination actors nailing it. #Indy
  • Now completely dark out w a crescent moon & caressing breeze. Violet lights on the resting stage. @HARTheatre #indy #indystage
  • Whew! Finally home. ‘Took a while to get out of the White River Park parking garage & no Internet service down there.
  • I appreciated @HARTheatre’s funny & thoughtful interpretation of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” but still..(cont)
  • (cont) Nobody (man nor woman) wants their spouse to coerce them into personal growth, even if possible. @HARTheatre #Shrew #Indy
  • I loved that there were kids hanging over the balcony above the crowd, stopping their random playing to watch @HARTheatre’s play. #indystage
  • I also enjoyed coincidentally sitting with a FB friend & hearing her mom rave about Petruchio’s refinishing of her floors. (Ryan’s day job?)
  • Most of all I enjoyed seeing some of my fav pro #indystage actors perform. Too many to name in a tweet, but great cast! @HARTheatre #indy
  • Great cast, great performances. @HARTheatre’s “Taming of the Shrew.” #indystage #indy

Friday, August 16 – August 25 – The Indy Fringe Theatre Festival – 27 shows (one twice) – I wrote about all of them in one blog post: http://www.indytheatrehabit.com/2013/08/16/a-librarians-guide-to-the-2013-indy-fringe-theatre-festival/

  • “Abraham Lincoln: Hoosier Hero” – solo show written and performed by Danny Russell on the Theatre on the Square’s Second Stage.
  • “The All-New Bonnie Bitch’s Obey Comedy Hypnosis Show” – Theatre on the Square Main Stage
  • “A Baptist Girl’s Guide to Sex, Love and Happiness” – solo storytelling show written and performed by Lou Ann Homan on the Phoenix Basile sage.
  • “The Beast, the Lady, and the Sanguine Man” – presented by NoExit Performance in the Phoenix Theatre.
  • “The Billy Willy Show” – ComedySportz
  • “Burning Brothels: Sex and Death in Nevada” – a solo show written and performed by Katherine Glover on the ComedySportz stage.
  • “Cathedral City” – solo show written and performed by Kurt Fitzpatrick on Theatre on the Square’s Second Stage.  I saw this show twice.
  • “De Sade” – music and lyrics written by Ben Asaykwee based on the writing of the Marquis de Sade. Presented by Q Artistry in the Phoenix Theatre.
  • “Dirk Darrow: NCSSI (Not Completely Serious Supernatural Investigator)” – solo magic show written and performed by Dirk Darrow on the ComedySportz stage.
  • “The Greatest Speech of All Time” – Performed by Timothy Mooney on the Phoenix Theatre Basile Stage
  • “I Named My Penis Linda” – solo show written and performed by comedian Stewart Huff on the ComedySportz stage
  • “La Vie, L’amour (Life, Love)” – vocalist Gail Payne accompanied by pianist David Duncan performed in the Cook Theatre.
  • “Lashes Off..Songs of Sex, Secrets, and Stripping” – created by Lynn Lupold and Kenny Shepard, produced by Red Boat Productions and Sold Out Run, performed on the Theatre on the Square’s Main Stage.
  • “The Pureville Townhall Meeting” – written and performed by Susan Rex Wolfley, presented by SquinchyFace Productions on the Cook Theatre stage.
  • “Rough Sex and Other Bad Words” solo show written and performed by Michael Todd Swinford on the Theatre on the Square’s Second Stage.
  • “Shakespeare Wrote What…?” – presented by Eclectic Pond Theatre Company at the Phoenix Theatre.
  • “Stairway to Kevin” – solo storytelling and music show written and performed by Kevin Thornton in the Indy Fringe Theatre building.
  • “Tapman” – tap dancing/singing/storytelling show written by Tristan Burns and performed by him and three other dancers in the Cook Theatre.
  • “Trailer Park American: Story of a Progressive White Trash Liberal” – solo show written and performed by comedian Mat Alano-Martin on the ComedySportz stage.
  • “Two Motherf#ck*rs On a Ledge” – written by Ronn Johnstone, directed by Callie Burk, presented by Wisdom Tooth Productions on the Theatre on the Square’s Second Stage.
  • “Underneath the Lintel” – solo play written by Glen Berger, performed by Pat O’Brien on the Phoenix Theatre’s Basile stage.
  • “Waiting: a Love Story” – solo show written and performed by Sherri Rose on the Babeca stage.
  • “We May Very Well Be Sued – a Dalt Wisney Tribute” – written and performed by the members of Three Dollar Bill Comedy in the Phoenix Theatre.
  • “Welcome to the Monkey House” – ShadowApe Theatre Company adapted stories by Kurt Vonnegut and presented them in the Phoenix Theatre
  • “What Biscuits” – solo comedy show written and performed by Phil Van Hest performed on the ComedySportz stage.
  • “Wry” – solo show written and performed by Kim McCann on the Phoenix Theatre Basile stage.
  • “Yelling at Bananas in Whole Foods” solo show written and performed by Dan Bernitt on the Basile stage of the Phoenix Theatre.

Thursday, September 5 – “Father of the Bride” – Beef and Boards. I tweeted:

  • But tonight I am cozy & well cared for at @BeefandBoards. ‘Gonna enjoy several destination actors in “Father of the Bride.”
  • So I’m curious about #thebanksathome. @josephjmervis & @wickywickyLisa, will be you be live-tweeting while you act?!? @beefandboards
  • Yay! Thanks. Vice versa! 🙂 RT “@wickywickyLisa: @IndyTheatre @josephjmervis @beefandboards at least once a show! Happy you’re here. Enjoy. :)’
  • Time for @beefandboards birthdays, anniversaries & groups. One group is here from ENGLAND! Wow! #clapping 🙂
  • Set looks great! Okay, phone away now to give #thebanksathome my full attention. Yay @BeefandBoards “Father of the Bride!” #indystage #indy
  • RT @josephjmervis Our friend Hope stopped by tonight! Maybe she can calm dad down – he’s crazy! #TheBanksAtHome @IndyTheatre pic.twitter.com/8vmRan9kGt
  • @josephjmervis (lol!) I saw when you tweeted that! #ifeelspecial 🙂
  • Intermission @BeefandBoards’ “Father of the Bride.” I’ve laughed a lot, now eavesdropping on nearby couples remembering their own weddings.
  • A @beefandboards actor smoothly & secretly, in character, tweeted about me during the show! What a hoot! Thanks, @josephjmervis! #indystage
  • Ah, that was fun. I bet Kay and Buckley will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary at @BeefandBoards. 🙂 #indystage #thebanksathome

Saturday, September 14 – “Agnes of God” – Westfield Playhouse. I tweeted:

  • (a few days before) And I may drive over to Westfield soon for “Agnes of God.” ‘Remember that movie? I’d like to see the stage show, too. #indystage
  • Intermission “Agnes of God” at the #Westfield Playhouse. Thought-provoking show! #indystage
  • Whew. “Agnes of God” is one intense play! Thank you, Mainstreet Productions of Westfield, for giving me a chance to see it live. #indystage

Saturday, September 21 – “Celtic Harp and Story” by Patrick Ball, storyteller – presented by Storytelling Arts of Indiana at the Indian History Center. I tweeted:

  • Irish bard Patrick Ball returns to #Indy 7:30 2nite at the Indiana History Center. More info: http://www.storytellingarts.org. #indystage
  • Well, as I re-read about #storyteller Patrick Ball’s work, he’s American, not Irish, but I still love his Irish songs & stories. #indystage
  • And who can resist a bit of harp playing? (Patrick Ball plays his tonight at 7:30 at the Indiana History Center.)
  • Woo-hoo! They’re making everyone scooch to the middle bc Patrick Ball’s #storytelling show is almost sold out! #indystage #indy
  • Super volunteers Sandra Harris & Ken Oguss recognized 2nite by @storytellingart (Ellen Munds) b4 the Patrick Ball show. I thank them, too! #indystage
  • Intermission – Patrick Ball’s storytelling & harp playing are enchanting me in new ways. ‘So glad I came. #indystage
  • Applause for Joyce Ellinger, the American Sign Language interpreter for Storytelling Arts of Indiana. Yes!
  • Well, that was a treat. Thanks, @storytellingart, for bringing storytelling Patrick Ball & his harp back to #Indy! #indystage #storytelling
  • I love @AllisonLCarter’s review of Patrick Ball’s harp & storytelling show: allisonlcarter.wordpress.com/2013/09/22/a-m… #indystage @storytellingart #indy

Saturday, October 5 – Not a theatre show but I want to remember that this was the day that theatre videographer Zach Rosing held an open house at his new home on Broadway. It is a very fun house, already filled with his uniquely creative energy. Piano for sing-a-longs in the front party room, bold art on the walls, huge and wonderful gathering table in the kitchen, hot tub off the back porch, closet and shower to swoon over upstairs (and the stairs!), and a spiffy video screening room and home office with separate entrance in the basement.  And much closer than his old house to most of the theatres that hire him.  I’m happy for you, Zach and wish you many great experiences in your new home!

Tuesday, October 8 – “Les Miserables” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre. I tweeted”

  • (the day before) My dad’s men’s group loved @BeefandBoards’ “Let Miserables” this past wknd. I’m going this week! #indystage
  • (the day of) Grouchy, tired, & tearful: perfectly primed for a cathartic live theatre experience. (lol)
  • (at the theatre) Looking forward to @beefandboards’ “Les Miserables.” Beef first, boards later. ‘Bet I’ma wanna slip some beef to the orphans. #indystage
  • Heh. I’ve 5 in my pocket, plus the cloth napkin. ‘Hope that’s enough! #BandBLesMis #indystage RT”@Denise_Hayden: Take extra Klennex!”
  • Lol! My server, Robert, is new to me. He might freak. RT “@Onceatenor: @IndyTheatre @Denise_Hayden For Les Mis?!? Hah! Use a waiter’s aptron! ;)”
  • (But this is a good moment to mention that @beefandboards server Robert is taking thoughtful, just-right care of me & our whole section.)
  • Eddie (#BeefandBoardsLesMis director) came by to ask if I’d like to renew my @BeefandBoards VIP membership. I certainly have enjoyed it this year!
  • This is my last B&B VIP show for 2013 but my godkids are taking me to see @BeefandBoards’ Winnie the Pooh in Nov so..yay! #indystage
  • My dad said, “Strong, good voices; clever set; flawless & many scene changes.” #BandBLesMis #indystage #paraphrasing #dadsreview
  • Almost time for #BandBLesMis! Live theatre is truly one of my top five all-time favorite treats. ‘See you at intermission! #indystage
  • Yikes. The power & beauty of the singing voices alone made me weep all thru Act 1. #BandBLesMis #seriouslyweeping @BeefandBoards #indystage
  • @AuntB6 I am very glad I am here, too! Oh, my goodness, Bobbi Bates, you are all so wonderful!
  • Standing & cheering & waving my damp, red napkin at the end of #BandBLesMis. Whew, what a show! #indystage @BeefandBoards #Indy
  • “Les Miserables” is in many ways unusual for a @BeefandBoards show. Otoh, it’s got love, war, faith & family: B&B staples. #indystage
  • (next day) Dinner time. ‘Wish I could afford to pop over & see “Les Miserables” at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre again tonight. So moving! #indystage
  • I may have cheered like a teenager (or the parent of a teenager) at the end of #BandBLesMis last night. Ah, well. #unashamed

Thursday, October 10 – Premiere of tour of “Ghost Brothers” musical by Stephen King and John Mellencamp at the IU Auditorium in Bloomington, Indiana. I tweeted:

  • Intermission #GhostBrothers by S King & J Mellencamp. ‘Glad I made the trip down to @IUAuditorium. ‘Busy when it’ll be in #Indy. #indystage
  • “If you’re on your bike, wear white.” #GhostBrothers was not at all what I expected but..I think I’ll be thinking about it for a long time.
  • Also? I’d like me own copy of the #GhostBrothers soundtrack, please. Let’s go look in the @IUAuditorium lobby before we head back to #Indy.
  • And I was there! RT “@ScribnerBooks: #StephenKing and @johnmellencamp’s #GhostBrothers national tour kicked off today! ow.ly/pHlqf”
  • @emilybedwell (lol) You, me, & a gazillion other people were at @GhostBrothers last night. That’s why we didn’t see each other. 🙂

Sunday, October 13 – “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” by Christopher Durang at the Phoenix Theatre. I tweeted:

  • Gorgeous day! I walked over to @Phoenix_Theatre for the final perf of “Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike” by C Durang and..I’m in! #indystage
  • I know I missed many fun #indystage shows this wknd but I can’t see ANY shows if I don’t work & sleep, so that’s the way it goes sometimes.
  • It feels good to be at the Phoenix today. 🙂 Cool set. Elegantly urgent pre-show music. Bring on the Durang & the #destinationactors!
  • Oh, I LOVED that funny, heartwarming show! And I was wrong: “Vanya” has one more wknd at @Phoenix_Theatre. #Indy #indystage
  • “I am a wild turkey!” Man, I could relate to everyone in Durang’s “Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike” at @Phoenix_Theatre. 1 more wknd. #Indy

November 1-3 – Basile Emerging Stories Festival – presented by Storytelling Arts of Indiana at the Indy Fringe Theatre. I saw 10 storytelling performances and shared my own “Hoosier in Tokyo: a Tale of Leaving Home and Finding It Again.”  Of the ten other tellers whose work I saw/heard, I especially loved the pieces by Sandra Harris, Lou Ann Homan, George Shricker, Jennie Kiffmeyer, and Sallie Perkins.  Thank you again, Frank and Katrina Basile, for funding the annual Basile Emerging Stories Fellowship through Storytelling Arts of Indiana! I was honored to be a recipient in 2006, honored to be given the chance to revisit my fellowship work again this year, and glad for the chance to hear all ten of the other pieces that were revived for this festival.  Each was approximately 45 minutes long and developed with adult audiences in mind. Here is a list of them:

  • “Army Life for Father” developed and performed by Bob and Kathi Myers, who are based in Elkhart, Indiana
  • “Woman Versus the Blues” developed and performed by Deborah Asante as Suki Lue Ambers. Deborah is based in Indianapolis, Indiana and is the artistic director of the Asante Children’s Theatre.
  • “Too Crazy to Know Better” developed and performed by Sandra Harris.  Sandra is now based in Indianapolis, Indiana but her story is about her years in Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
  • “I Grew Up in the U.S. Navy” developed and performed by John Robertson, who runs the “As I Recall” storytelling group in Greenfield, Indiana.
  • “Abigail Gray: Follow the Drinking Gourd” developed and performed by Sharon Kirk Clifton as the title character. Sharon is based in Columbus, Indiana.
  • “Hoosier in Tokyo: A Tale of Leaving Home and Finding It Again” developed and performed by Hope Baugh.  Hope writes a blog about live theatre and storytelling in the Indianapolis area. (heh)
  • “Gathering Coal for the Lord” developed and performed by Lou Ann Homan, who is based in Angola, Indiana. Her story is about her father growing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • “The Space” developed and performed by George Shricker, who is based in Plymouth, Indiana.
  • “With This Brush” developed and performed by Sondra Hayes Hartman, who is based in Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • “The Rivertown Dispatch” developed and performed by Jennie Kiffmeyer, who is based in Richmond, Indiana.
  • “Tails from the Kennel” developed and performed by Sallie Perkins, who is based in Indianapolis, Indiana.

I didn’t tweet much during this festival but I did tweet Matthew Roland’s preview article, “Storytelling is Slow Entertainment in Fast-Paced Age” in the Indy Star when I found it a week later (!) through an index at my public library.  I loved this article and appreciate the title’s subtle nod to the slow food movement. Here is direct link to the article: indy.st/18IUVNz.

Thursday, November 7 – “Rancho Mirage” by Steven Dietz at the Phoenix Theatre. I tweeted:

  • Treating myself to @Phoenix_Theatre’s “Rancho Mirage” tonight, if it’s not sold out. #indystage #indy
  • And I’m in! Rolling world premiere of Steven Dietz’ new play “Rancho Mirage (The Very Best People We Know)” at @Phoenix_Theatre #indystage
  • (reading program) Wow! Lotsa #destinationactors in this. Excellent.
  • Hah! (reading program) It’s set “in a gated community somewhere in America.” I may be returning to my roots tonight.
  • Great pre-show music. I’m not the only one digging it. Almost time for curtain talk. “Rancho Mirage.” @Phoenix_Theatre #indystage #indy
  •         (Someone from the Phoenix tweeted) Our very talented Playwright in Residence, Tom Horan (who was a student of Steven Dietz), also did the sound. The man is good!
  • @Phoenix_Theatre Ah, yes, he playwright in residence! Man, I wish I had time to interview & blog about him. Very cool that he’s here.
  •          (Phoenix tweeted back) We couldn’t be happier with the work he’s doing!
  • Intermission @Phoenix_Theatre’s “Rancho Mirage.” How do people choose each other? I often wonder & this play’s making me again. #indystage
  • @Phoenix_Theatre Refresh my memory please: is new Tom Horan play in this season?
  •           (Phoenix) Sort of! He’s writing some pieces for the Xmas show, and is working on a lot of projects so there could be something later!
  • (after the show) Ah, I loved that. Love those actors, love thinking about emotional clutter & what is real. “Rancho Mirage” @Phoenix_Theatre #indystage #indy

I took a social media break (no Facebook or Twitter) from Friday night, November 8 to Saturday night, November 16.

Saturday,  November 9 – “Winnie the Pooh” at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre.  This was doubly fun for me because my 5-year-old goddaughter and her friend had a wonderful time, too.  They sat spellbound during the show and loved getting their picture taken with the stars of the show in the lobby afterwards.

Saturday, November 9 – “The Odd Couple” by Neil Simon, directed (debut?) by Jeff Stockberger for Actors Theatre of Indiana at the Studio Theatre in the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. I surprised, delighted, and impressed to find that the actor that had played Pooh Bear  in the Beef and Boards show that morning was now playing the cop friend at the poker table in this show!

Friday, November 15 – “Claire Wilcher” – Claire Wilcher was the featured vocalist, with brief but important contributions by three guest vocalists – Scot Greenwell, K.T.(?) and Rashida Walker Bonds (sp?), at Chef Joseph’s at the Connoisseur Room.  There were three sets of songs, mostly from musical theatre.

Monday, November 18 – “The Play’s the Thing” – Rob Johansen’s pick for the Indy Actors Playground.

Sunday, November 24 – “Treasure Island: Rock’n’ the Ocean” – written by Ben Asaykwee and Janice Hibbard (sp?) – Q Artistry’s annual Qmunity show.  I tweeted:

  • Intermiss final perf @QArtistry’s “Treasure Island: Rockin’ the Ocean.” Lol-ing a lot! Hairband pirates. Need I say more? #indystage #indy
  • Oh, my that was fun! I try to see @QArtistry’s “Qmunity” show every year bc it’s always layered for adults as well as kids. #indystage
  • This year’s Qmunity show was “Treasure Island: Rock’n’ the Ocean.” ‘Still lol re “Bon John Silver” & the other hairband pirates. #indystage
  • Ben said there’ll be a 2-nites-only repeat of @QArtistry’s 1st Qmunity show, “Perry Haughter,” in 2014, plus a new one. Yay! #indystage
  • The children in @QArtistry’s “Treasure Island..” show were adorable, the teens were awesome, & the adults were, are, treasures. #indystage

Saturday, November 30 – “A Very Phoenix Xmas 8: Angels We Have Heard While High” at the Phoenix Theatre

Saturday, December 7 – “Go Tell It On the Mountain: Songs and Stories of Light featuring Kim and Reggie Harris” presented by Storytelling Arts of Indiana at the Indiana History Center.

Saturday, December 14 – “Waiting Up” – Three Dollar Bill Comedy at the Indy Fringe Theatre.

Thursday, December 19 – “Nutcracker” – NoExit Performance at the Irvington Theatre.

Sunday, December 22 – “Nutcracker” – NoExit Performance at the Irvington Theatre (a second time).

Sunday, December 29 – “10×10: Shakespeare” – Eclectic Pond at the Irvington Lodge (Q Artistry’s home.)

‘See you at the theatres…

Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com and @IndyTheatre on Twitter.

 

©2013 Hope Baugh