The Actors Theatre of Indiana will return to its past by opening its 2021-22 season with “Always…Patsy Cline.”
Judy Fitzgerald will reprise the role of legendary singer Patsy Cline, and Cynthia Collins plays Louise Segar, a devoted fan. It’s a two-person play with a seven-piece band.
“The whole play is based off Louise’s letters from Patsy,” said Collins, an ATI co-founder along with Fitzgerald and Don Farrell. “We did it in 2013. It was supposed to be back last year but then everything was canceled. So, we’re trying to stick with the season we were going to do.”
The schedule of four plays was announced July 13 at the Studio Theater at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. The first three shows were the same ATI planned for the 2020-21 season before it was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Always…Patsy Cline” is set for Sept. 10 to Oct. 3 at the Studio Theater. “Crazy,” “Sweet Dreams” and “Walking After Midnight” are just a few of the 27 featured songs in the play. Cline died at age 30 in a 1963 plane crash.
The cast on the other three plays, all new productions for ATI, have not yet been determined.
The second show is “Lombardi” from Oct. 29 to Nov. 21. The play follows former Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi through a week in the 1965 NFL season as he attempts to lead the team to the championship.
The 2022 portion of the schedule begins with “The Big Bang,” from Jan. 28 to Feb. 20.
“‘The Big Bang’ is crazy. It’s just two men and a piano on stage,” Collins said. “It’s a wild ride. They’re doing a backers’ audition for a new musical on the history of the world. They act out the whole thing. Everything on the stage is used as a prop. Even though it’s a small show with the cast, it’s a big undertaking.”
“Working: The Musical” is set for April 27 to May 22. The play is based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with American workers.
“In 2012, they revamped the show and narrowed it down to six actors,” Collins said. “They updated some of characters and some of the music, so it will be a little more relevant. There are two new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda.”
ATI has stayed busy with Drive-In Theatre and appearing at Feinstein’s cabaret.
“We’ve stayed out there and that’s great, but it’s nothing like doing a full live show on the stage,” Collins said. “There’s no comparison.”