IRT brings to life first-ever stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s ultimate whodunit
Exotic golden-age detective story weaves history, mystery, murder and morals
Indianapolis, Ind.—The Indiana Repertory Theatre dives into the mysterious pages of the world’s best-selling author for its next production, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. Adapted by Ken Ludwig, this ultimate whodunit runs March 3 - 29 on the OneAmerica Mainstage and is a co-production with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.
Originally published in 1934, Murder on the Orient Express has been adapted into multiple radio plays, films, and television programs, but this version by Ken Ludwig—writer of Lend Me a Tenor and The Game’s Afoot--is the first stage adaptation. While the IRT has done multiple Agatha Christie mysteries over the years, Ludwig’s take will only be the IRT’s second play that features the Belgian master detective Hercule Poirot; the first was Black Coffee in 1989.
Inspired by Christie’s own time stranded on the Orient Express in Turkey during a mudslide and the international news of the 1932 Lindbergh kidnapping, her story weaves well-known history, cosmopolitan characters, moral complexities, and a shadowy murder into a spell-binding, thought-provoking, and intricate detective mystery.
“There is nothing more theatrical than the thriller, and no master better suited to creating stage-worthy thrillers than Agatha Christie,” IRT’s Margot Lacy Eccles Artistic Director Janet Allen said. “Christie’s work has the uncanny ability to draw people from many different walks of life under her spell. She appeals to both men and women, and widely across cultures, as her work has been translated into more than 50 languages.”
Returning to direct is Risa Brainin, IRT Associate Artistic Director from 1997-2000, who also directed the 2017 nationally recognized production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time starring Mickey Rowe and last season’s Holmes and Watson.
“It is exciting to come back to IRT and work on a very different kind of mystery play,” Brainin said. “Christie wrote fabulous roles, and Ludwig’s version exploits, expands, delights in those wonderful renderings. He has remained true to the original when it comes to portraying these delightfully complex, dramatic, and quirky individuals.”
Helping bring these complex and quirky characters to life are IRT familiars Ryan Artzberger as Colonel Arbuthnot and Samuel Ratchett, Rob Johansen as Michel and Head Waiter, and Aaron Kirby as Hector MacQueen, along with a versatile and talented cast of actors new to the IRT, including Andrew May as Hercule Poirot.
Tickets are available now for the golden-age detective story from the pages of the world’s best-selling author!
WHERE: Indiana Repertory Theatre, 140 W. Washington Street, OneAmerica Mainstage
RUN DATES: March 3 - March 29, various times. Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is approximately 2 hours and ten minutes, including a 15-minute intermission. Tickets and performance schedule available at IRTlive.com.
TICKETS: Tickets start at $25. Click to buy.
CAST & CREATIVE TEAM:
RYAN ARTZBERGER | Colonel Arbuthnot & Samuel Ratchett
KATIE BRADLEY | Countess Andrenyi
NASTACIA GUIMONT | Mary Debenham
DALE HODGES | Princess Dragomiroff
ROB JOHANSEN | Michel & Head Waiter
CALLIE JOHNSON |Greta Ohlsson
JENNIFER JOPLIN | Helen Hubbard
AARON KIRBY | Hector MacQueen
GAVIN LAWRENCE | Monsieur Bouc
ANDREW MAY | Hercule Poirot
RISA BRAININ | Director
ROBERT M. KOHARCHIK | Scenic Designer
DEVON PAINTER | Costume Designer
MICHAEL KLAERS | Lighting Designer
MICHAEL KECK | Composer
L. B. MORSE | Projections Designer
BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION AT FRANKLIN ROAD LIBRARY
Monday, March 2, 2020 | Discussion 6:30 - 8 PM
Adults are invited to a book discussion at the Indianapolis Public Library Franklin Road Branch about Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. Chat about the classic mystery and hear from IRT’s Resident Dramaturg Richard Roberts about the first-ever stage adaptation by Ken Ludwig.
Friday, March 6, 2020 | Performance at 7:30 PM
Raise a glass and cheers to the cast and crew at IRT’s Opening Night! After the show, delight in a champagne toast, hors d’oeuvres, and a one-time-only chance to explore the set with IRT Artisans.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 | Happy Hour starts at 5:30 PM | Performance at 6:30 PM
Start your evening at the Theatre with IRT’s Happy Hour! Beginning at 5:30 PM, sample appetizers and drinks from local distilleries, breweries and more before the performance. Sip, savor, and save with half-price drinks at the bar available throughout the evening.
Sunday, March 15, 2020 | Performance at 2 PM
Stay after the performance to take part in a post-show discussion led by actors, staff and special guests. Learn behind-the-scenes details and additional information about the show and its themes while enjoying tea and cookies courtesy of the IRT.
Sunday, March 15, 2020 | Performance at 2 PM
The IRT offers ASL/AD services to our patrons with vision and hearing needs. Patrons with hearing needs are encouraged to sit in the interpretation zone and meet with the interpreter before the show. We also offer Assisted Listening Devices free of charge at each performance. To learn more visit irtlive.com/accessibility.
Friday, March 20, 2020 | Following the 7:30 PM performance
Immediately following this performance, join IRT staff for an explorative and informative backstage tour. Tours typically last 30 minutes.
COOKIES & COFFEE
Thursday, March 26, 2020 | Performance at 2 PM
Before the 2 PM performance, sweeten your afternoon at the IRT with complimentary cookies, tea and coffee provided by Bee Coffee Roasters served in the lobby.
Thursday, March 26, 2020 | Following the 2 PM performance
Join IRT staff and cast immediately after the performance for a post-show discussion that covers a variety of interesting topics related to the show. Post-show discussions typically last for 20 minutes.
For more information contact Kerry Barmann, Marketing Communications Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317.916.4824.
ABOUT THE IRT
Founded in 1971, the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT) is the largest professional not-for-profit theatre in the state and one of the leading regional theatres in the country. The mission of the Indiana Repertory Theatre is to produce top-quality, professional theatre and related activities, providing experiences that will engage, surprise, challenge, and entertain people throughout their lifetimes, helping us build a vital and vibrant community.
The IRT produces top-quality, professional theatre that engages, surprises, challenges and entertains people throughout their lifetimes, helping to build a vital and vibrant community.
Marketing Communications Manager
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