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A transcendent Priscilla Lindsay send-off at the IRT

August 4, 2010

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?

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