Five years ago, Randy White sat across from Bob Zaltsberg and explained his idea to create a professional stage company in Bloomington. Few people in Bloomington knew who White was. White had been directing regional theater in New York, and his wife had recently accepted a position at Indiana University.
There were several theater groups in town then, including Detour Theater and Interaction. White wanted to bring something else to Bloomington though, he wanted to bring the business side of the industry to create a professional regional theater on par with the Indiana Repertory Theater.
“What I was able to bring,” White explains, “was some experience, but mostly a business sense that was a little bit different, but was building on what had come before. [We] stood on the shoulder of giants who had come before and who had really done a lot of wonderful work here in Bloomington.”
White reached out to members of the Bloomington theater community, including his current Associate Artistic Director, Mike Price.
“We went and had breakfast,” Price says, “and after the meeting was over, I told some folks I was working on a show that ‘I don’t know who this guy is, but we need to keep track of him, he knows his stuff.’”
Today, White once again sat down with Zaltsberg during WFIU’s Noon Edition. White says the theater company is still many years away from becoming a fully sustained professional theater, but is making progress.
White’s staff is no longer an entirely volunteer force, and has recently added a 5th full time position. In addition to local actors, the company can now afford to hire regional actors who bring fresh talent and new prospectives to the stage.
Just a few months ago, Cardinal Stage Company began working out of a new space, located on south Walnut. Cardinal’s offices are currently housed there, and White hopes to stage an actual production in the building sometime in the next year.
Last year, 13,000 people attended Cardinal productions, and White expects over 17,000 to attend this year.