By Larry Lannan
July 19 was a cool, comfortable summer evening in Fishers. On that night, over 1,000 people gathered to see the first musical production at the Fishers Amphitheater.
The Nickel Plate Players, under the direction of Ashton Wolf, presented Beehive, a collection of 1960s girl songs. Once the show was over, the crowd rose to its feet in a standing ovation.
This was a big step forward for the Fishers Amphitheater. 2013 was its first full summer season and the crowds were good for the music groups that graced its stage. In 2014, the crowds are even bigger.
When Dave and Rae – always a crowd favorite – played the amphitheater on July 15, the town estimated the crowd at over 6,000. That was by far the largest audience for any production at the amphitheater.
Wolf has made it clear he wants to have the Nickel Plate Players produce three shows at the amphitheater in 2015. He would also like to expand the scope to include musicals and staging plays.
This is evidence of an active arts community in the Fishers area. The Fishers Arts Council, under its President Jocelyn Vare, has worked with the Fishers Town Council to enact a Community Art Master Plan.
The plan serves as a roadmap on how the town council and arts council can work together to grow artistic events in Fishers.
The Town of Fishers is embracing the arts for many reasons, but one is clearly economic. In order to make Fishers a destination, it will take artists of all types to keep the crowds coming.
If you enjoy live theater, as I do, the prospect of the Nickel Plate Players moving to sponsoring both plays and musicals is an exciting idea.
I’ve enjoyed the Palladium in Carmel and it is an impressive indoor venue. However, there’s nothing quite like bringing out the lawn chairs and blankets to experience a great show at the Fishers Amphitheater.
My wife, Jane, told me how amazing it is that we have so many great free events to experience here in Fishers. She made that comment after seeing Beehive.
It is astounding that Fishers is able to provide such quality entertainment at no charge. When I attend events there, I see a lot of repeat customers.
If you haven’t taken in a show at the Fishers Amphitheater yet, make a point to do so. I have Aug. 30 circled on my calendar for the Blues Festival.