ATI selects three plays for series


Actors Theatre of Indiana’s LAB Series has taken the next step in its inaugural season.

ATI announced the three plays that will be presented with readings, using trained actors. The program, sponsored by United Fidelity Bank and is designed to nurture plays and playwrights, was announced earlier this year.

Don Farrell, one of three co-founders of Carmel-based ATI, said more than 20 submissions were received from across the U.S.

“I was really impressed with the quality. %here were a lot of really great plays,” Farrell said. “Some were more fleshed-out, and some were in the final draft version, which is really helpful for us.”

Among the playwrights whose scripts were accepted is Fishers resident Ethan Mathias, a Hamilton Southeastern High School theater teacher. Mathias, who is acting in Civic Theatre’s “Mamma Mia!” this month, has never acted with ATI before, but his wife, Devan Mathias, has. However, Farrell said Mathias’ play was selected on its own merit.

“We weren’t thinking about who the playwright was, we were thinking about the play,” said Farrell, who selected the plays along with fellow ATI co-founders Judy Fitzgerald and Cynthia Collins.

Mathias’ dramatic play, “Provenance,” will be the final of the three May 5, 2020 readings. All readings are set for the Studio Theater at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

The first play to get a reading will be “Hollywood, Nebraska,” by Kenneth Jones, New York City, set for Nov. 5.

The second reading will be “Rattler” by Lindsay Adams, Kansas City, Mo., Feb. 4, 2020.

Plays that received previous readings in the Indianapolis area were not considered.

“We were looking for new voices and new stories,” Farrell said.

Each play will have a reading and a talk-back session with audiences, staff, cast and playwright.

“I want to engage our community to have an active voice in these stories,” Farrell said.

Farrell said he wants the audience to engage in a dialogue of constructive criticism. He said the goal for the plays to take the next step into a workshop or main stage production at ATI or elsewhere.

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