Phoenix Theatre Announces Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony After 35 Years
As a young man, Bryan Fonseca had a mission: contribute to this city in a way that is helpful, hopeful, and heart-full. With a strong group of eager young adults, they took over the Broad Ripple Playhouse to present thought-provoking work that spoke to the community and its needs.
In 1983, that group of eager young adults were a bit older and wiser-with bigger dreams than before. Dreams to do the newest work on the hottest topics. With the flare and passion, their work had strengthened. The group of founders moved down to 9th Street and thus began the 35-year history of Phoenix Theatre.
Within just five years, the Phoenix had outgrown its bounds and needed more space to play. A generous gift in honor of Janet Flanner, internationally famed journalist for the New Yorker, from current board member J. Scott Keller nested the adolescent company at 749 North Park Avenue where it roosted for 30 years. As the company grew, Phoenix found its wings by addressing head on issues few others would tackle and doing it with their own brand of edgy dignity. Without a doubt, there were moments of controversy, but Phoenix flew higher and led the way to a vibrant, thriving arts district on the once dilapidated Mass Ave. and helped to revitalize the neighborhood. Through the support of a loyal and growing patron base and a renewed interest in the arts in Indianapolis, Phoenix is now soaring to even greater heights!
With 35 challenging, touching, inspiring years behind her, the new Phoenix will be a 20,000 square foot, magnificent Cultural Centre on the Indianapolis skyline and Glick Peace Walk portion of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. In moving just a mile away from their cozy, basement playhouse to a prominent, not-to-be-missed facility in the middle of the Cultural Corridor of downtown Indy, Phoenix will now anchor yet another up-and-coming neighborhood with huge potential to flourish. And just as it has been since its inception in the early '80s, Phoenix is for you.
A public event open to all on April 28th, will join community leaders, arts patrons, donors, subscribers, founders, artists, and staff in ceremonies to honor the 30-year home of the Theatre and christen the new facility. At 3:00pm, come into the Livia & Steve Russell Theatre at 749 N. Park Ave for a short presentation of 30 years of memories in that building. Immediately afterwards, join a colorful parade/procession led by a giant phoenix street puppet named Sparky, a New Orleans Jazz band, dancers and streamers down the Cultural Trail to the new building at 705 N. Illinois St. where Mayor Joe Hogsett and the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce will be waiting for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:15pm. Everyone is then invited into the new theatre for a presentation of hopes and dreams for the future along with a performance by Collective Partner Phoenix Rising Dance Company. Please join us! Hope, nostalgia, sweets and champagne will be complimentary for all attendees.
The Phoenix Theatre is Indiana's only professional contemporary theatre, and has presented productions to challenge and entertain the Indianapolis community for over 34 years. An Equity house, the Phoenix presents the Midwest and Indiana premieres of many popular Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, and has presented approximately 100 world premieres. The Phoenix operates the 130-seat proscenium Livia and Steve Russell Stage as well as the 75-seat cabaret-style black box Frank and Katrina Basile Stage. 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 and Culture District. The Phoenix Theatre is a founding 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 400 individual donors.