LEADING WITH OUR HEARTS
BY BENJAMIN HANNA, DIRECTOR
Originally inspired by a holiday card, It’s a Wonderful Life is the most inspirational film of all time, according to the American Film Institute. Watching the film has become a tradition for many families as the weather grows cold and we begin our winter hibernation. But this year things are more than a little different. Many have been in isolation from family for months, and the looming winter feels chillier and darker than the past.
I am writing from our cozy rehearsal room. The four of us—actor, director, production coordinator, and production assistant—will be together, masked-up, socially distanced, and isolated for several weeks preparing to film. Among many safety measures, there are elaborate cleaning protocols and multiple, repeating COVID tests. We four alone are allowed in what is called “Zone A” inside the Theatre. To connect with others, we schedule Zoom meetings with colleagues who are working on the other side of a wall—or working from home on the other side of town. A year ago there were more than 25 people in this room rehearsing for A Christmas Carol, including ten ubiquitous little Cratchits. So much has changed—yet so much is still the same. You can feel the energy and hear the laughter of companies past, present, and future in this room. It is wonderful, and it’s inspiring to our invention.
This Wonderful Life shares the virtuosic nature of our beloved Carol—the actor plays numerous roles and packs an epic journey into one delightful evening. Rob Johansen is speaking directly to us. He invites us to remember our responsibility to self and community. For those who have had the pleasure of hearing Rob spin a tale—onstage or off!—you know this story will be filled with madcap comedy mixed with sincerity and grace.
The great Steven Spielberg sums up this film beautifully: “Frank Capra led with his heart. His films made it shameful not to cry in the movies. He celebrated the noblest impulse of women and men, showed all of us our dark side, and then pointed a flashlight at the way out.” I hope you receive this play as our holiday card to you all: a sweet treat for your table, a warm glass of cider, some laughter around the fire, and a reminder of how much we need each other and the power of leading with our hearts.
Indiana Repertory Theatre announces the hire of new Production Manager
From Seattle to the Circle City, Malia Argüello joins IRT in January 2021
Indianapolis, Ind.— After an extensive national search, the Indiana Repertory Theatre has hired Malia Argüello to lead the production departments. She will join the IRT from Seattle Children’s Theatre, bringing with her nearly 20 years of experience in company, stage and production management in roles both across the country and performing arts fields.
“Malia’s warmth, level head, excellent listening and communication skills and deep experience managing many kinds of crews will help us move the IRT forward in these challenging times and beyond,” Margot Lacy Eccles Artistic Director Janet Allen said. “She truly has the heart of a theatre maker.”
Prior to the Seattle Children’s Theatre, Argüello worked for Wayside Theatre in Virginia, BalletMet in Ohio, The Phoenix Symphony in Arizona, and Los Angeles Philharmonic in California. She will arrive in Indiana in January to assist with the IRT’s next virtual production in the 2020-2021 Season, Tuesdays with Morrie.
“I am thrilled to be joining the IRT family,” Argüello said. “Janet Allen has cultivated a community whose reputation is known throughout the country for excellence and true artistry. I am privileged to be entrusted with leading the production team through these unprecedented times. We will continue to reimagine how we tell stories and look forward to the day when we can once again welcome our audiences back through our doors.”
For more information contact Kerry Barmann, Marketing Communications Manager, at email@example.com 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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