A transcendent Priscilla Lindsay send-off at the IRT

August 4, 2010
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Yesterday's farewell party for Priscially Lindsay in the lobby and on the stage of the IRT featured the expected tear-inducing moments. After all, the accomplished actress spent 35 years making Indianapolis a better place to be a theatregoer.

But this event was more than just heartfelt tributes.

Lindsay, who has tackled everything from Chekhov to Arthur Miller and from Shakespeare to O'Neill, is leaving the IRT to head the theater program at the University of Michigan (see previous blog here). But she's been an educator for most of her career, both as an artist who knows how to communicate humanity from the stage but also as a nurturing developer of talent.

As such, it was a thrill to see many accomplished, local actors in the audience and to hear them read funny, moving and sometimes remarkably prescient lines from productions that Lindsay has graced. When Lindsay arrived here, there wasn't such a talent pool.

And so while kicking myself for missing some of those Lindsay performances, I found myself thankful that she's leaving behind an actual theatrical community. I'll miss Ms. Lindsay, both her graceful self and her work. But, thanks in part to her, we have the beginnings of a town where first-rate actors can possibly live and work.

"The people who get on in this world," said George Bernard Shaw, "are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them."

Lindsay made something special here. And I'm confident she'll make something special in Michigan.

And I hope she'll be back to visit. In a Shaw play, perhaps?

Your thoughts?

  • We'll miss "Pris"
    As a 20 year subscriber to the IRT, I've seen many of the productions highlighted during the program on Tuesday night. We always knew it was going to be a great production if she was in it.
    Altho I really enjoyed her 2 productions of "Shirley Valentine," the performance that impressed me the most was the one where the lead actress fell off the stage on opening night and broke her leg, so Phyllis stepped in. The 2nd night performance was cancelled, and she had script in hand when I saw it on the 3rd night - but the staging was right on, and she hardly referred to the script. That's a true professional!!
  • ooops!
    Of course I meant "...Priscilla stepped in..."! That's what I get for multi-tasking!
  • Me, too
    This is a VERY busy week for me at my day job; I was sorry I couldn't get away for this event. I am glad to hear it was fabulous.

    Lou, like you, I wish I had had a chance to see ALL of Priscilla Lindsay's performances and shows that she directed.

    I can't think of any better legacy than to have been "a nurturing developer of talent" and a community builder.

    I wish Priscilla Lindsay all the best with her new adventures in Ann Arbor!

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit
  • And an everyday heroine
    In her remarks at the IRT farewell for her, Priscilla mentioned that she was often recognized in the produce aisle at Marsh --- without makeup and out of costume. And why should that surprise anyone? Priscilla is Indy's everyday celebrity. You could know her and admire her in all her roles: on stage at the IRT, doing commercial voiceovers, directing musicals at St. Richard's School, and/or just being herself as wife, mother, and friend. Priscilla is without peer in all her roles, and a treasure this city will always be proud to call its own.

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