Just as their current show, Molly Sweeney, features a lead character who receives a major operation to restore her sight, Indiana Repertory Theatre will be getting a major overhaul to freshen its looks.
Part of a $6 million, three-stage capital renovation campaign, the first $1.4 million will go to shore up the Rep's historic 1927 building, theatrical equipment, Upperstage and Cabaret spaces. The 314-seat Upperstage was rededicated to Marvella Bayh, mother of former Indiana Governor Birch Bayh, who attended the Oct. 20 ceremony.
The money will also go towards creating a performance space for experimental works, as well as upgrades in lighting, sound and restroom facilities.
Phase two, the next $1.4 million, will go for behind-the-scenes improvements such as dressing rooms (summer `98). Phase three will use another $3 million, will restore the grand lobby and mainstage.
Ultimately, Indiana Rep hopes to raise $16.5 million by 1999, $10 million of which has already been raised (Lilly Endowment Inc. helped with half of that figure). The money is not only for structural purposes but to "provide future financial security and expanded artistic and educational programming." *
As for Molly Sweeney, that show opened Oct. 24 for a four-week run. Author Brian Friel's previous works include Dancing at Lughnasa, Translations and Philadelphia, Here I Come.
Friel's poignant drama tells the story of a blind woman who is given the opportunity to experience the world of sight by a once-famous eye surgeon seeking to redeem his medical reputation.
Under the direction of Libby Appel (Artistic Director, Oregon Shakespeare Festival), the cast features Priscilla Lindsay, IRT Associate Artist, in the title role, as well as Erik Fredricksen and Ned Schmidtke, whose Broadway credits include The Real Thing and Aren't We All?. The production will include sets designed by Karen TenEyck, with costumes by Jeanette DeJong, lighting by Ann Wrightson, and music by Andrew Hopson.
Molly Sweeney will run through Nov. 29 on IRT's Upperstage. For tickets or more information, call (317) 635-5252, refer to the regional listings on Playbill On-Line, or visit IRT's website at http://www/indianarep.com.