Phoenix Theatre Announces 2010/2011 Season

The Phoenix Theatre of Indianapolis proudly announces the 2010-2011 season, which includes one World Premiere, one National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, two re-mounted World Premieres, seven Midwest Premieres and a greatest hits version of the ever-popular holiday variety show. "There is an art to creating a theatre season and after 28 years, we feel confident that our 2010-2011 season of plays is both a reflection of the concerns of our community and a revelation of new trends and topics from the national canvas," says Phoenix Theatre Producing Director Bryan Fonseca.

The new season certainly has a few surprises, including two musicals - Tony-winner Avenue Q and the locally written salute to the month of May in Indy, The Zippers of Zoomerville. "It's a big and colorful season," continues Fonseca. "You may not see all of the plays but each one you do see you will remember vividly."
The season starts with Fonseca's brainchild Pure Prine: The Music of John Prine, brought back by popular demand for a full run of 4 weeks in August and September. Next up is a weekend with four performances of When the Dead Cry or Cuando Los Muertos Lloran, an original one-woman show by former Indianapolis Public School Superintendent Dr. Esperanza Zendejas. As part of our continued commitment to the Hispanic community, the Phoenix will present two performances in Spanish.

Next up on the Phoenix Mainstage is 2010 Tony-nominee and Pulitzer Prize-finalist In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) by acclaimed playwright Sarah Ruhl, which landed on the year's Top 10 list in Time magazine and The New York Times. "Perhaps more than any other production of the season," explains Fonseca "this play fits the reputation of the Phoenix to take creative risks through the inventive staging of contemporary plays with smart dialogue and engaging storylines." Next up is My Name is Asher Lev, written by Aaron Posner and adapted from the popular novel by Chaim Potok, which details the life of an art prodigy who grows up in a Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn and grapples with the conflict between the only world he knows and his emerging creative impulses.

A season at the Phoenix would not be complete without the irreverent holiday tradition, this year aptly titled A Very Phoenix Xmas 5: Regifted. Time flies during the holidays and we're already up to number five in this series of alternative holiday variety shows. "This year, we're letting the fans vote on the line-up, which will include greatest hits from the previous shows," says Fonseca, who patterns the sketches after TV and variety shows of his childhood.

The first of two World Premieres is a co-premiere with Boise Contemporary Theatre titled Norway by exciting new playwright Samuel D. Hunter. This play first emerged in a partnership between the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and the NNPN- called the MFA Playwrights Workshop- directed by Fonseca. The second is a NNPN Rolling World Premiere titled Goldie, Max and Milk (rights pending) by Karen Hartman, which is a comedy about the joys and fears of single motherhood in a family that is anything but traditional.

The Storytelling Ability of a Boy by Carter W. Lewis tells the story of three people, two young students and their teacher, living on the fringes of their world and struggling to find their way and a place to belong. "People struggling to find their place in the world is certainly a recurring theme in Phoenix Productions," says Fonseca. "The Storytelling Ability of a Boy is about the world of high school - for students and teachers - and Melissa James Gibson's This is about New Yorkers entering the choppy waters of middle age and trying to find a place in their community of friends." The Phoenix season will end With A Bang - Pete McElligott's fast-moving story brought to life as a graphic novel for the stage.
The Phoenix Theatre was founded in 1983 by a group of Indianapolis theatre artists who wanted to produce contemporary plays as well as to pay the theatre's artists, a goal that was achieved a few years down the road. As one of only a handful of professional theatres in Indianapolis, the Phoenix continues to present contemporary material that is rarely safe or without controversy. Below is a listing of each production planned in the 2010-2011 Season, along with production dates, plot summaries and review quotes.
Focusing on Each Production
Pure Prine: The Music of John Prine

August 19-September 12, 2010

Phoenix Mainstage - remounting of World Premiere

Fonseca, Pure Prine is a celebration of the music of John Prine, one of this country's most gifted singer/songwriters. With the talents of Tim Brickley, Jenni Gregory, Tim Grimm, Bobbie Lancaster, Jan Lucas Grimm and Michael Shelton, this uniquely theatrical concert showcases the humor and charm of Prine's music.

"In Pure Prine, director Bryan Fonseca deftly finds a theatrical voice and structure for the show that doesn't compromise the material, providing just enough dialogue-free plot to keep it moving forward." -Lou Harry, Indianapolis Business Journal

When the Dead Cry or Cuando Los Muertos Lloran

September 23-26, 2010

By Dr. Esperanza Zendejas

Frank & Katrina Basile Theatre - Midwest Premiere (only previously performed in California)

Across America the hope of thousands of immigrants comes to an end as they disappear, never to see their loved ones again. This show tells the story of two souls who spent eight years waiting in the city morgue for someone to set them free. Narration, photos and music combined in a multi-media one-woman show. Thursday and Sunday performances will be in Spanish, and will be priced at just $15.

In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)

September 30-October 24, 2010

By Sarah Ruhl

Phoenix Mainstage - Midwest Premiere

2010 Tony-nominee and Pulitzer Prize-finalist In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) illuminates the lives of six lonely people seeking relief from a local doctor-but, all they really need is intimacy. It's a tender tale that takes place in the twilight of the Victorian age, an elegant comedy lit by unexpected sparks from the approaching era of electricity, equality, science and sexuality.

"This serenely funny new work...sparkles with wit and invention."-Variety
My Name is Asher Lev

October 28-November 21, 2010

By Aaron Posner; Adapted from the novel by Chaim Potok.

Frank & Katrina Basile Theatre - Midwest Premiere

Asher Lev is a young Hassidic artist torn between his observant society and his need to create. His artistic genius threatens his relationship with his parents and community and weighs heavily on his conscience. The play is a fascinating coming-of-age story, blended with a debate about the nature of art.

"The late novelist Chaim Potok's searing visions of people, things and even moods, as seen through the focused gaze of the artist, elevate this coming-of-age tale above the cliches of the genre." -San Francisco Chronicle
A Very Phoenix Xmas 5: Regifted

November 26-December 19, 2010

By Various Artists

Phoenix Mainstage

This wonderful holiday tradition is back with its "greatest hits" material for your seasonal enjoyment. As always, there will be music (both traditional and I-can't-believe-they-did-that), dance, sketches and more videos. Oh sure, we're celebrating the holidays - all of them - but, mostly we're poking fun at just about everything and everyone.

It's our fifth A Very Phoenix Xmas and we're letting you select the line-up. You can vote on-line at for your favorite sketches from our first four years. Past highlights include The Disco Nativity, Don't Eat The Baby, Taco Bell Canon and many, many more. Vote now through November 1st and see your favorite holiday sketches - regifted!



January 6-30, 2011

By Sam Hunter

Frank & Katrina Basile Theatre

Ten years have passed since Brent and Andy shared their deepest secrets. Beethoven scholar Brent drifts from city to city performing and lecturing until he discovers Andy is following him. The time signature shifts from past to present to reveal how the boys' relationship holds the key to Andy's father, Mark, fulfilling his own obsession with the truth about his son.
Goldie, Max and Milk (rights pending)

February 3-27, 2011

By Karen Hartman

Phoenix Mainstage - National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere

A comedy about the joys and fears of a single mother. Alone in an unfixed fixer-upper after a bad breakup, new mom Max is going privately insane while facing serious threats to her custody of four-day-old Lakshmi Rose. Can Max's Orthodox Jewish lactation consultant, Goldie, lead her to sanity, solace, and milk?


The Storytelling Ability of a Boy

March 3-27, 2011

By Carter W. Lewis

Frank & Katrina Basile Theatre - Midwest Premiere

For sensitive and socially awkward souls, high school can be like a torture chamber. This is the story of two dangerously smart teenagers and the teacher struggling to help them with humor and compassion. The play is unique, blending the art of storytelling and theatre. The characters simultaneously tell the story while being in the story.

"The Storytelling Ability of a Boy captures the raw adrenaline rush of a couple of kids intoxicated by the power of words and sexual discovery." -Atlanta Arts & Culture


March 31-April 24, 2011

By Melissa James Gibson

Phoenix Mainstage - Midwest Premiere

Jane is not okay. She's a promising poet without a muse, a single mother without lessons to pass along and a great catch without romantic possibilities. This bright, witty, un-romantic comedy captures the uncertain steps of a circle of friends backing their way into middle age. This is a very funny drama about how we experience and cope with love, hurt and loss.

"This is a beautifully conceived, confidently executed and wholly accessible work, which is not just (Melissa James Gibson's) finest to date but also the best new play to open Off Broadway this fall." -The New York Times
The Zippers of Zoomerville

April 28-May 28, 2011

Book & lyrics by Jack O'Hara

Music by Jack O'Hara and Tim Brickley

Frank & Katrina Basile Theatre - remounting of World Premiere

Ready for more speed, greed and the dirty deed? We've updated (and shortened) this musical spoof of fast-track fever. A Gilbert and Sullivanesque celebration of flat-out folly and full-throttle love, The Zippers of Zoomerville fancifully celebrates and gently spoofs the Circle City's love affair with all things Indy 500 in this centennial race year.

"Whether you love the Indianapolis 500 or are faintly embarrassed by its retro thrills, The Zippers of Zoomerville makes up in energetic fun for anything it lacks in subtlety." -Jay Harvey, Indianapolis Star
Avenue Q

June 2-July 10, 2011

Music and Lyrics by

Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (based upon their original concept)

Book by Jeff Whitty

Phoenix Mainstage - Midwest Premiere with a local cast

Princeton, a bright-eyed college grad, comes to New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account. He soon discovers that the only neighborhood in his price range is Avenue Q. Together, Princeton and his newfound friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life in this Tony Award-winner for Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical.

"The most fun onstage." -The New Yorker

With A Bang

July 14-August 14, 2011

By Pete McElligott

Frank & Katrina Basile Theatre - Midwest Premiere

Margaret's parents have died, she's lost her job, gotten punched in the face, and had an angel appear at her door explaining that she must write a book before the world ends in a few hours. Ever have one of those days? With A Bang is an absurdly comedic look at Margaret's world, as it falls apart.

"With A Bang is a thought-provoking adult graphic novel brought to life." -New Orleans Art & Stage

Ticket Details: The Phoenix FlexPass is Back!

Back by popular demand, the Phoenix FlexPass is the best theatre deal in Indy and will only be available through October 31, 2010. Buying a FlexPass is like getting one Friday, Saturday or Sunday ticket for free. A FlexPass for $100 gets a patron five vouchers that can be traded in for any combination of tickets for any of the 2010-2011 productions.

Thanks to the continued generosity of Duke Energy, CheapSeats performances will continue on Thursdays, so the price for a Thursday ticket will remain $15 per person. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday performance tickets will be $25 for all shows except Avenue Q, which will be $15 for Thursdays and $30 for Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Avenue Q will also feature two performances on Saturdays - 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm. The Phoenix will continue to offer a youth rate of $15, but has adjusted the guidelines to include those individuals under age 21.

Tickets for the new season may be purchased by calling the box office at 317.635.PLAY (7529) to charge by phone and will be available to purchase on-line at beginning August 2, 2010. All seating is general admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Performances are Thursdays at 7:00 pm; Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 8:00 pm. and Sundays at 2:00 pm, unless otherwise noted on our website. Doors open ½ hour prior to curtain for seating. The Phoenix Pub, located inside the theatre, offers beer, wine, soft drinks, coffee, and bottled water, as well as treats, and all refreshments may be taken into either theatre and consumed during the performance.

For more information about any Phoenix programs or to purchase tickets, call The Phoenix Theatre box office at 317.635.PLAY(7529). The theatre's website is

About The Phoenix Theatre
"The Phoenix Theatre has cornered the market on hip new works." -- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

The Phoenix Theatre is Indiana's only professional Contemporary Theatre, and has presented productions to challenge and entertain the Indianapolis community for 28 years. An Equity house, the Theatre presents the Midwest and Indiana premieres of many popular Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, and has presented more than 70 world premieres in its quarter century. The Phoenix operates the 130-seat proscenium Mainstage as well as the 75-seat cabaret-style black box Frank & Katrina Basile (buh-SEAL) Theatre. The Phoenix Pub, located in the Basile Theatre, serves beer, wine, coffee, soft drinks, water, and treats, and patrons may take all refreshments into either theatre. Both venues are housed along with administrative offices in a renovated 1907 church in downtown Indianapolis' historic Chatham Arch neighborhood, part of the Mass Ave Arts & Theatre District. The Phoenix Theatre is a member of the National New Play Network and the League of Indianapolis Theatres, and is supported by the Indiana Arts Commission, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as local corporate and foundation funders and more than 500 individual donors.

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