Summer Theater At IU: New Name, New Digs

A Summer Musical returns to IU, but on the north side of the Jordan River.


Photo: Indiana University Department of Theatre and Drama

a photo from last season’s WIZARD OF WALL STREET from Premiere Musicals. Mandy Striph and Jordan Gelber. Jordan played Jim Fisk and Mandy played a number of roles including the saloon girl in this shot.

Event Information

Indiana Festival Theatre

Indiana University Department of Theatre and Drama 2011 summer season with Music Man, Comedy of errors and Ah Wilderness!

Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center

June 24-July 31 and Aug 25-28

812 855 1103

The Indiana University Department of Theatre and Drama’s summer offerings will have a new name and be in a different venue. The Indiana Festival Theatre will stage its events on campus in the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center.Department chair and the Festival’s artistic director Jonathan Michaelsen spoke about the move.

Goodbye To The Brown County Playhouse

“Indiana University had been in Nashville for years. We really had a long history there at The Brown County Playhouse. It was and continues to be important to our students that we offer them the opportunity to participate in a professional theatre program. The theater there began as a tent and a barn. There were many changes. But despite renovations over the years, maintaining the building and continuing the program there simply became too costly. Actually, here on campus we and our audience will have access to two theaters instead of just one. There will be shows in the Wells-Metz and in the Ruth N. Halls Theatres in the complex.”

New Places, A Bit Of A Different Focus, But The Same Core.

At the same time that the name and the venues are new, Michaelsen emphasizes that the goal is very much to present quality entertaining theatre. “We’ll open in June with Meredith Wilson’s Music Man. It’s just a terrific musical and George Pinney with the musical theatre program kids will do a great job. Then in July I’ll be directing Shakespeare’s very funny A Comedy of Errors. And Dale McFadden will direct Eugene O’Neill’s only comedy, Ah Wilderness!. It’s a warm family drama.”

Three Theatre Classics From The Past And Then On To The New

In addition the department also hosts the Premiere Musical in August. “This year we’re really beginning at the beginning. We’re bringing in a lyricist and a composer from New York to actually create and work with our staff, students and audience developing a piece. It’s our hope that after the work this summer, they’ll go back and work some more and next year we’ll have a fully finished piece to bring back for audiences.”

George Walker

George Walker was born in Winchester, Virginia, and raised in Owl’s Head, Maine, and Valhalla, New York. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he came to Bloomington in 1966 and completed an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University. George began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Currently, along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists in a wide variety of areas and reviews plays and operas. He’s the proud father of grown sons Ben Walker (and his wife Elise Katzif Walker) and Aaron Walker. In his time away from WFIU, George enjoys an active life with wife Carolyn Lipson-Walker, singing, reading, exercising and playing guitar.

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