Red Barn Theatre to present world premiere of ‘Keep the Change’

ND RED BARN PREViEW 0611 Clossin head shot
Michael Clossin

Luke McLaughlin has known Michael Clossin for a large part of his life.

“In fact, it was his rendition of ‘Leader of the Pack’ at Frankfort High School that made me fall in love with theater as an elementary student,” McLaughlin said. “Michael wears many hats for the Red Barn. He serves on the board of directors and coordinates all the musicians for our ‘Music on the Lawn’ pre-show programming. The Red Barn would not be what it is today without him. He was with the Barn when it first started and continues to play a major role in bringing our seasons to life.”

So, it’s fitting that McLaughlin will direct the world premiere of Clossin’s “Keep the Change” June 12-16 and June 19-23 at Red Barn Summer Theatre. Michael Taylor is the Red Barn’s artistic director and McLaughlin is its associate artistic director.

Clossin said he is “apprehensively eager” to see the premiere.

“Michael and Luke are working with a talented group of young actors, so I’m pretty eager to see it come to life,” Clossin said. “The apprehension comes in from hoping I did my job well enough.”

Clossin said Taylor organized a table read with some Red Barn actors who encouraged him to keep working on it. Clossin said Jennie Otterman directed a staged reading at Basile Westfield Playhouse in October 2023 with actors from the Noblesville area that was very helpful.

“‘Keep the Change’ is my first opportunity to direct a world premiere, and though it is completely different from anything I’ve ever done theatrically, it is exciting to put my stamp on this script and fun collection of characters,” McLaughlin said. “As a lifelong Clinton County resident, it’s also exciting to direct an original script from a fellow community member.”

McLaughlin read for Shake, “a lovable” handyman, at the first reading of “Keep the Change” more than a year ago when Clossin was still in the early stages of character development.

“Though the play has changed greatly since that first read, his attention to detail and focus on creating interesting, unique characters remains at the core of his writing,” McLaughlin said.

The cast has eight performers, including Westfield resident Lisa Warner Lowe.

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