Farrell embraces ‘Mr. Confidential’ role


Actors Theatre of Indiana co-founder Don Farrell knows there is a responsibility in portraying a real-life figure.

Actors Theatre of Indiana co-founder Don Farrell will play the role of Bob Harrison, who created Confidential magazine, in the world premiere of “Mr. Confidential,” which starts May 3 and runs through May 14 at the Studio Theater at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. The show was originally scheduled to start April 28, but was postponed because of illness of a key performer.

ND ATI PREMIERE 0425 Farrell head shot

“It’s a pretty hefty role,” Farrell said. “‘I’ve got a lot of woodshedding to do to get this on to my gray matter, but the music is so much fun. The lyrics are fun, and the story is fun. To be able to roll up my sleeves and start delving into it, it’s really going to be great. I think as an actor, roles that are complex are more interesting. The human condition itself is interesting. We’re all three-dimensional beings and with a lot of history and life experience.”

Farrell said he wants to give heart to his portrayal.

“On the surface, when you read, you might think this might not be the best guy in the world,” Farrell said.

However, Farrell said Harrison built a very successful magazine and provided work for others.

“He was an amazing, interesting guy, and I’m excited to bring him to life on the Studio Theater stage,” he said. “There is a responsibility to not paint them as a two-dimensional character. You want to see all the sides of this person. It’s exciting to find stuff that might not be on the page, but in the rehearsal process you are able to explore.”

Since the reading, Farrell said the production team has written some new scenes, added songs and adapted songs,

“They are going to get all the songs they originally fell in love with, and they are going to get even more in this world premiere,” he said.

Farrell said ATI has created new works before but not to this level.

“The new works we’ve created are like cabarets and things like that,” he said. “It’s definitely the first time in our 18-year history we’ve taken on something of this magnitude. It’s something that started here in Carmel and will have a life beyond Carmel.”

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