Eric Olson, Institutional Giving Manager, has served in many roles at the IRT since 2012 and enjoys theatre from both on and off the stage. An actor and avid music fan, his love of the arts help him in his work to tell the story and mission of the IRT in grant applications. Learn more about Eric, his philosophy on The Beatles, and which show he is most looking forward to this season:
How long have you worked at the IRT and in what roles?
I started at the IRT in January of 2012 as Ticket Office Manager. Since then, I have been Director of Patron Services, Individual Giving Officer, Donor Relations Officer, and Institutional Giving Manager. I left for 2 years to serve as Director of Development for the Phoenix Theatre, but I found my way back!
What does a typical day look like for you and what do you enjoy most about working in your department?
I spend most of my day crafting narratives for various grant applications and reports. This is my favorite part of my job, because it allows me to talk about theatre all day long, to craft the most compelling stories I can while advancing the mission of the theatre. I will always consider being an actor my first love/occupation, but this is a great way to approach my love of theatre from a different perspective.
What’s one helpful tip you’d offer someone coming to the IRT for the first time?
Watch a show on the OneAmerica Mainstage from the front row of the mezzanine - the overview of the stage gives you full appreciation of the extent of the artistry. (But legroom can be tight if you’re really tall.)
Favorite Indy restaurant or place to visit or thing to do?
Half-Price Books. I spend an absurd amount of time there, and the clearance sales they have at the Fairgrounds each year have my family leaving with trunks full of books.
Do you have a favorite show you’ve seen at the IRT?
The Crucible. I watched it 4 times, and found it incredibly compelling and relevant to our current society.
If you weren’t at work, where could we find you and what would you be doing?
Hopefully performing in a play somewhere, or supporting my kids at one of their many activities!
What other types of arts and entertainment do you enjoy?
I love music, and am fortunate to play with friends around town, sometimes in public. For any situation in life, The Beatles is the answer.
Which production are you most looking forward to in the 19-20 season and why?
Morning After Grace. I enjoyed reading the script more than any I have read in some time. It is equally funny, touching, and thoughtful, and it presents senior citizens with a complexity, completeness, and humanity that is not often seen in entertainment today.
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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