Indiana Repertory Theatre’s 19-20 season celebrates diverse storytelling
New INclusion Series broadens perspectives on what it means to be an American
Indianapolis, Ind.— The Indiana Repertory Theatre will introduce the INclusion Series this season, a series consisting of three productions within the nine-play season that focus specifically on celebrating diverse storytelling. The selections feature work by female playwrights of color that examine or dramatize stories from the Native American, African American, and Chinese American experiences and include And So We Walked: An Artist’s Journey Along the Trail of Tears, The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 and The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin.
“The INclusion Series has come about to broaden our perspectives on what it means to be an American,” IRT’s Executive Artistic Director Janet Allen said. “We are always scouting recent dramatic writing and writers to find work that will resonate with our audiences, and this year we have leaned into work by writers of color, to tell stories from Americans that we may not know much about.”
The series begins with And So We Walked: An Artist’s Journey Along the Trail of Tears, a one-woman show created and performed by Cherokee artist and activist DeLanna Studi. The play is based on her six-week journey traveling the Trail of Tears with her father to better understand their ancestors and history, as well as to learn more about her identity as a contemporary Cherokee woman. On stage October 15 - November 10, And So We Walked is a story of hope and discovery that probes the complexities and conflicts that the Cherokee Nation still wrestles with today.
Running February 1 - March 1, the second production is The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963, which is based on the award-winning young adult novel by Christopher Paul Curtis and adapted by Cheryl L. West. This story examines the country’s Civil Rights history through the lens of a family, in particular the children ages 6 to 13, as they navigate their lives in tumultuous times. The work provides the opportunity for adults and children to discuss the issues of racism, violence, and a culture of exclusion, while also highlighting moments of enduring love and family antics.
The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin by Jessica Huang, on stage March 25 - April 19, details the life of a man who immigrated to the United States in the 1930s despite the Chinese Exclusion Act, the first American law that prevented members of a specific ethnic group from immigrating to the United States. The production is a surreal journey through past and present as Chin wrestles with his family relationships, identity, language and culture barriers, and his search for a better life in America. Inspired by a true story, Huang’s play opens our eyes to an earlier moment in American immigration, while providing a window into the immigration issues of our own time.
For the productions in this series, the IRT is collaborating with local organizations to draw various communities together through education and theatre. Through post-show discussions, community events, additional programming, and more, the IRT hopes to encourage conversation and reflection surrounding these important stories.
The full 2019-2020 season includes Twelve Angry Men, The Little Choo-Choo That Thinks She Can, And So We Walked: An Artist’s Journey Along the Trail of Tears, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Morning After Grace, The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin, and Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.
INclusion Series packages, season ticket packages, and single tickets are available online at irtlive.com or by calling the Ticket Office at 317.635.5252.
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.
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