Commentary by Amy Pauszek
“Where’s Amy?” … I attended the Actors Theatre of Indiana Mardi Gras Party presented by the ATI Guild and sponsored by Current. The festive annual fundraiser was held at the Woodland Country Club and was pure magic from the minute I walked in the front doors. The ATI Guild did a fantastic job from the bright colorful decorations to the mouthwatering hors d’ oeuvres and complimentary hurricanes. Guests enjoy various games and chances to bid on spectacular silent auction items donated from local businesses and major corporations.
The silent auction items were amazing because there was something for everyone. I scored a super cool ‘Star Wars’ basket but was out bid by another guest for a fun ‘Colts Package.’ One lucky guest won a beautiful pair of 14K white gold diamond studs from Midwest Jewelers and Estate Buyers while another guest walked out with a stunning John Hardy Classic Chain Bracelet from Moyer Fine Jewelers. The Tim Brickley Quintet kept the night hoping as we enjoyed a delicious New Orleans-style dinner. Guests hoped to find the prized ‘Cake Baby,’ which would entitle them to become the king (or queen) of the court.
The best part of the night was when I looked around the room and realized I was surrounded by a group of friends and patrons who truly love and support the ATI mission. ATI ticket sales only cover about 35 percent of the overhead needed to bring professional theatre directly to us. They also are a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that relies heavily on tax-deductible contributions from individuals and corporate sponsors. The annual Mardi Gras fundraiser was a hit and everyone who attended graciously gave from their hearts.
People often ask me what I like best about “Where’s Amy?” … I always say that attending events is ‘pure bliss’ but the best part of the job is meeting the people behind the scenes that make an event or organization shine. ATI co-founders Judy Fitzgerald, Cynthia Collins and Don Farrell are prime examples of what hard work and dedication to the arts means.
They, along with the ATI administration and board members make every performance unique and special. Every show is truly an experience because ATI is top notch from the acting, music, set design, lighting, sound and crew. I still can’t stop thinking about “Sweeney Todd” which was hailed the ‘talk of the town,’ by the press and was like having Broadway right here in our own back yard. Yep, it’s safe to say that everything ATI does is for the love of art and live theatre. Exciting adventures are ahead including the high anticipating 2016-2017 schedule, to be announced soon! I highly recommend you take in a show and see what the buzz is all about. Bravo to the ATI Guild for throwing one spectacular evening that will be hard to top … and thank-you Judy, Cynthia and Don for continuing to make a difference in the community by bringing professional theatre to the next level. For more information about upcoming performances and ways to get involved with ATI please visit: atistage.org.