By Marcia Ellett
The building housing Oaklandon Civic Theatre (OCT) — Oaklandon Universalist Church — has a “notable” rating by the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Architecture, and the Oaklandon District is recognized in both the National Register of Historic Places and the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures. With such a rich history dating back to 1850, including the building twice being destroyed by fire, there is perhaps no better place than OCT to stage and set the mood for local playwright Marsha Grant’s play “Ghost Story”.
But fear not, the play is a family-friendly farce centering on corporate whistle-blower Eva and her daughter, Caro, who, sequestered at a pre-trial, broken-down safe house on Chesapeake Bay, find their hideaway is haunted by ghosts and the living alike. Gangsters, a pirate, a nosey neighbor and two inquisitive cops guarantee theatergoers will experience high spirits and frequent laughter.
Local actress, OTC artistic director and “Ghost Story” co-producer Donna Wing launched the theatre company in 2004 with the mission to design stage productions “to address the emotional and intellectual needs of our community by ranging from being simply entertaining to being thought-provoking, controversial and enlightening.”
Grant, who lives in Carmel, pulls double duty as “Ghost Story’s” writer and director. She calls Indianapolis and surrounding areas “a vital cultural community,” and is proud to have “taken an active part in the theatre community for almost 40 years.”
“I cast Donna in another play I was directing and she immediately asked me to direct [at OCT],” Grant recalls. It began a collaboration on multiple projects. Of OCT’s location she says, “We have a very strong community … a good patron base.”
That community often includes other business involvement, such as Bonnie’s Café, which will offer dessert during “Ghost Story’s” theme-oriented intermission.
Oaklandon Civic Theatre is located at 6450 Oaklandon Rd. Performances begin March 13, and tickets are $12 each. For more information on additional dates and times, or to reserve tickets, visit oaklandoncivictheatre.org or call 823-4761, ext. 4.