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.)

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:


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Celebrating 30 Years of Indy’s Phoenix Theatre

The Phoenix Theatre is celebrating its 30th season here in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.  This weekend, people came from all over the planet to help celebrate this theatre that has meant so much to them.

This theatre that has meant so much to us, I should say.  My involvement with the Phoenix is miniscule compared to some people’s but, as in so many things, comparisons are not the point.  I treasure my involvement with the Phoenix, which includes:

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The Fuss about “A Chorus Line” (a sort-of review of Civic’s production)

A friend saw the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre’s production of “A Chorus Line” the weekend it opened. 

(The last performance will be this Saturday night.  The book is by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban, conceived and originally directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett.)

Afterwards my friend posted on her Facebook, “I enjoyed a performance of ‘A Chorus Line’ today, but I’m not really sure I understand the popularity and longevity of it.  What am I missing?”

The next day, she asked me about it in person, too.

Continue reading The Fuss about “A Chorus Line” (a sort-of review of Civic’s production)

C Stands for Courtesy as well as Copyright

I learned how to make a copyright symbol for my blog posts today.  My lawyer tells me that everything is automatically copyrighted as soon as I write it, but that putting a copyright symbol at the bottom of each blog post is a defense against someone “not knowing” that it is not okay to cut and paste one of my reviews or other posts onto their own website or Facebook page or whatever.

I started to add the following statement to my copyright symbol:

“You do not have my permission to cut and paste this post onto any other website or publication or handout, no matter how badly you want to.  You may quote a sentence or two if you like, but then you had better also link back to this post and say that the post was written by Hope Baugh for Indy Theatre Habit.  If that is too much trouble, then please do not ‘share’ any of it.  I do not care about promoting any particular show, and I do not care about getting a million readers.  I am trying to have a courteous written conversation with a probably small group of people that love to attend live theatre and let it transform them.  That is all.”

But then I started laughing. 

And then it was time to take a shower and head back downtown Indianapolis to see some more 2012 Indy Fringe shows.

(“Creatures of the Night” is my favorite out of the eight shows I’ve seen so far, although I loved “Feed Your Nightmares” and “Go to Hell,” too, and there was something to appreciate about each of the others as well.)

So that was as far as I got in my blogging today.

‘See you at the theatres!

Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com (@IndyTheatre on Twitter)

©2012 Hope Baugh

A Planner’s Guide to the 2012 Indy Fringe Festival

If you love live theatre as much as I do, you want to see EVERYTHING, including all 56 shows in the 2012 Indianapolis Fringe Theatre Festival also known as Indy Fringe.

But after fringe-ing for five years I know that there is a limit to the number of stories and creative manifestations of artistic visions that I can absorb in ten days – let alone write about them – without being reduced to a quivering pile of brain jelly.  I’m taking ten days’ vacation from my day job for this and I’m buying all of my tickets rather than accepting a media pass, so I won’t be able to take more time off or pay for a spa vacation to recover from Fringe-ing.

So…I need a plan for doing the Fringe.  Maybe you do, too?

There are several possibilities:

Continue reading A Planner’s Guide to the 2012 Indy Fringe Festival

Anticipating Blog Indiana 2012

I’m looking forward to attending the annual Blog Indiana conference in Indianapolis tomorrow and Friday (August 9 and 10, 2012.)

Blog Indiana began the same year I started this blog: 2008. I have attended every year except one and I have learned a lot every time, even though most of the people that attend are marketing/social media professionals rather than hobby bloggers like me.  I learn a lot from the official presentations and even more from the informal interactions.

Last year’s education was unintentionally drama-filled.

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In Memory of Storyteller Mark Wilson

Storyteller Mark Wilson passed away from cancer earlier this week in California.  June 11, 2012, to be precise.  He wasn’t from Indiana but I want to write about him here on Indy Theatre Habit because my blog is about live, oral tradition storytellers in general as well as about live theatre in the Indianapolis area.  And because this blog is the main place I write these days.

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Two Super Funny Shows

The 46th Super Bowl was in Indianapolis for the first time this whole past week.  The game itself is happening as I write this on Sunday night, but I confess I don’t care much about that.  However, some of the people that I’ve written about here on Indy Theatre Habit over the years will be performing with Madonna in her halftime show.  THAT makes me wish I still had TV in my home.  And many, MANY more of my fellow Hoosiers worked hard to make sure that everyone involved with the Super Bowl – from fans to players to owners to media and more – had a fun, safe, rewarding time all week, starting last weekend.   I admire the heck out of all of them.

So I’m going to resist the urge that sometimes comes over me to make fun of professional sports and tell you instead that I’ve been thinking a lot about humor in general.

What makes a show funny?

Last Sunday I saw two very funny shows:  “Current Economic Conditions” (written by Don Zolidis and directed by Bryan Fonseca, runs through February 12, 2012 at the Phoenix Theatre) and “Debbie Does Dallas: the Musical” (book by Susan L. Schwartz, music composed by Andrew Sherman with additional lyrics by Tom Kitt and Jonathan Callicut, directed by Andrew Ranck, music/vocal directed by Roger Smith, ran through last night at Theatre on the Square.) 

Because I saw them on the same day, I was struck by the fact that they each made me laugh often and hard, yet they were very different from each other.

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Hope’s Theatre Year 2011: The Best, the Most, the Other…

The more performance art I experience, the more I realize how personal that experience is.  I love that it is personal.  I love that it is ephemeral, too.  It is impossible to sustain or even to reproduce exactly, because it is live.  The only way to truly experience a live theatre piece is to be present for it, open to it.

If you are a regular reader of Indy Theatre Habit, you know that I took a long step back in 2011.  I needed a break for a number of reasons.  One was that I was having an existential, “what am I doing here?!?” kind of crisis.  I still haven’t found satisfying answers to the many layers in that question, but I am making good progress.  And in the meantime, I have found that I miss writing publicly about my experiences at the theatres.  Maybe it’s an ego thing.  Maybe there’s more to it than that.  But in any case, I miss it.

So…I have decided to blog about theatre again in 2012, but this time doing it more…personally?  More authentically?  Anyway, more mindfully and selectively, and just see where it takes me.  As I say, I’m still figuring this out as I go along.

But first, a look back at 2011:

Continue reading Hope’s Theatre Year 2011: The Best, the Most, the Other…