Exclusive: new at W.R. State Park

April 7, 2008
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IBJ reporter Jennifer Whitson offers this interesting piece of news.  

Look for an announcement, likely next week, from White River State Park about a new summer series featuring local performing arts groups with shows geared toward family audiences.

The free offerings will happen every two weeks at the park’s natural amphitheater, near where the Canal flows into White River.

The announcement will roll out the full line up but several local organizations already have their dates and are hashing out their plans for the series, which starts June 14.

The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra will perform June 28, Orquestra Bravo! will take the stage July 12, and Dance Kaleidoscope is scheduled for July 26. The Heartland Actors’ Repertory Theatre will perform “The Merchant of Venice” in early August and the Indianapolis Opera is slotted for September.

The Opera’s executive director, John Pickett, said he’s excited for the chance to expose some new listeners to the art form and that he’ll likely feature a sampling from operas in the company’s upcoming season.

“We’ve talked for a long time about developing some models for opera in the park,” Pickett said. “This will really give us a chance to do something ongoing.”

There’s been some word of the roster including the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and Asante Children’s Theatre but these haven’t been confirmed.

So will you make plans to take in the series this summer? If so, how much of a draw is the word “free”?

Your thoughts?
  • Add Asante Children's Theatre to the list of confirmed acts in the series. The group will be performing an African folktale on Aug. 23, according to executive director Keesha Dixon.
  • The Indianapolis Children's Choir has also confirmed that it will be performing on June 14.
  • I think it's great. As a family of four, we usually have to make trips to see such acts as special occasions because of the cost involved -- and our son's reluctance. An outdoor venue will add to the draw for him, and FREE will definitely add to the draw for us! I just hope the people running nearby parking lots won't decide they can increase their prices as a result.
  • Free is good and a strong motivator to attend.

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