Fritz receives Arts Commission grant for live-cinema production


When it was time to apply for an Indiana Arts Commission grant, Corbin Fritz knew what play he wanted to use for production.


“‘Uncle Vanya’ by Anton Chekhov was chosen because I, and many people with whom I frequently work, have a deep love for the author,” Fritz said. “I, and many of my friends and colleagues, have studied Chekhov’s work at the Moscow Art Theatre School in Moscow, Russia, where Chekhov served as playwright-in-residence.”

The 2014 Noblesville High School graduate and Carmel resident will produce a production of Anton Chekhov’s ‘Uncle Vanya’ as a live-cinema experience. During the show’s run, Fritz will offer three free workshops for Indiana artists and students to learn about the new bridging of cinematic technology and theater.

Fritz recently received a $2,000 grant from the Indiana Arts Commission’s Individual Advancement Program.

“I’ve worked on many versions and adaptations of Chekhov’s work, but never on ‘Vanya,’ and the more time passed, the more the dream to direct the play became pronounced and unavoidable,” said Fritz, a full-time freelance theater artist who does lighting, sound and video design and who also teaches and directs. “However, I always wanted to give the piece the attention and production value it deserves, and then along came the IAP grant, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to pitch the show.

“I believe the themes of love, depression, change and fear are all universal experiences that the show explores, but the concepts of exhaustion and restlessness inherent in the story have only become more and more relevant in the society that we live in today.”

Fritz said he was motivated to apply for the grant and project because there are few opportunities for young directors to get experience at the helm of a production.

“There are many opportunities, big and small, to assist more established directors, which I’ve been doing for some time now,” Fritz said. “Assisting is a great way to learn the mechanics of how to run a rehearsal room, how to give notes to actors, designers and other members of a production, but it leaves much to be desired as far as helping that young assistant to find their own voice as a director.”

Fritz, a Butler University graduate, created his own production company, Character House Theatre Co., and has been producing his own work the past year.

The workshops will be conducted at noon Jan 11, at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 15, and 6:30 p.m. Jan. 16, The film/production will be approximately two hours with a 15-minute intermission.