IRT receives $30K for ‘Finding Home’


By Zach Dunkin


The Indiana Repertory Theater has headed into the New Year with an extra $30,000 to apply to a new theater work being created for next season. The National Endowment of the Arts handed the Downtown Indianapolis theater a $30,000 Art Works award as part of its more than $27.6 million benefitting arts groups nationwide.

The award will support “Finding Home: Indiana at 200,” a new piece created by more 30 Indiana writers. Curated by IRT playwright-in-residence James Still, the work is woven together through the songs of balladeer Tim Grimm.

This work, part of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission Legacy Project, will debut in October as part of the IRT’s 2016-2017 season as IRT’s contribution to the state’s Bicentennial observances. The created piece will add to the IRT’s 14-play Indiana Series.

“As the state’s leading professional theatre, it’s important for the IRT to bring fresh perspectives to Indiana’s bicentennial,” said Michael Harrington, board chairman. “I am proud that the IRT will be showcasing the work of so many writers from across the state, representing the voices of many Hoosiers across our history.”

“Finding Home: Indiana at 200” utilizes Indiana historical events and personal reflections on those events as a communal meditation about people’s sense of belonging. The writers involved include poets, journalist, playwrights and novelists of all ages, genders and races.

In the spirit of folk tradition, the production will use spoken word text and song. Audiences will be invited to reflect on what they know about Indiana, and what its future might hold.

Said NEA Chairman Jane Chu in announcing the award, “Supporting projects like the one from Indiana Repertory Theatre offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”