Actors Theatre of Indiana co-founder Don Farrell and Carmel Clay Public Library Foundation director Elizabeth Hamilton have been friends for many years.
However, it was ATI board member Jill Zaniker who promoted the idea of a partnership between the two groups. In discussing how to grow the ATI Theatre Lab Series program, Zaniker had the idea how the expansion of the series might fit into the programs at the newly expanded library. Plays chosen for the series are workshopped, discussed and developed through rehearsals with a professional cast, director and a music director in the case of new musicals. The play or musical receives a public reading with a moderated discussion with the cast and creatives immediately following the reading.
“Actors Theatre of Indiana deeply values strong community partnerships and advancing theatrical development opportunities,” Farrell said. “As our professional theater company continues to evolve and be more inclusive, innovative and reflective of our community, the expansion of our programming remains a high priority so we can continue to develop and support the voices of present and future playwrights, composers and lyricists.”
The events will be held for free at CCPL instead of at the Studio Theater at the Center for the Performing Arts.
“The Theatre Lab Series program was never designed to be revenue driven,” Farrell said. “At first, we had offered the program as a free event, but then realized people were not attending unless they felt like they had something invested. That’s why we changed it to $10 a ticket. The main goal of ATI’s Theater Lab program is to provide support, awareness, feedback and engagement for playwrights as they continue the growth and development of their play or musical. By exponentially increasing awareness through our partnership with the Carmel Clay Public Library and their members, we hope to gain even more engagement, support, feedback and awareness for the storytellers of today and tomorrow.”
There are two remaining readings in the 2022-23 season. First is “Belinda: An April Folly” at 2 p.m. March 25. The musical is by A. A. Milne, with adaptation and lyrics by Alisa Hauser and music by David Mallamud. For tickets, visit eventbrite.com/e/actors-theatre-of-indiana-lab-series-belinda-tickets-519392536057.
The final show will be “Rosemary & Time,” which is set for 2 p.m. May 20. Free tickets can be obtained by visiting eventbrite.com/e/actors-theatre-of-indiana-lab-series-rosemary-time-tickets-519402204977.
The readings will be held in a large community room, which seats nearly 300 people.