Kid stuff the focus for new theater

In yesterday’s IBJ Daily A&E e-mail, I discussed the Children’s Theatre Institute at the Junior Achievement Center, which officially opens its doors tonight with a party and performance of “Treasure Island.” The company promises a full slate of kid-centric productions, including collaborations with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

At the helm of this particular creative ship is James Leagre (who I misidentified in my e-mail as being in the IRT’s “Our Town.” He wasn’t. Sorry). Leagre is a seasoned actor who not only has appeared in such grown-up productions as The Beckman Theatre’s “Asylum” and “The Guys” at the Wheeler Arts Center, but has also demonstrated a long commitment to creating productions for young audiences. He’s also a 2008 Indiana Arts Commission Creative Renewal Fellow, which indicates that his talents aren’t going unnoticed.

Having a professional full-time children’s theater in town isn’t kid stuff. It’s one more step toward Indy being the well-rounded arts community that it can be. In my view, quality children’s theater is as important as quality opera, quality dance and, for that matter, quality pizza.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t other producers of children’s theater in town. But to have a place dedicated to quality children’s theater is significant. Here’s hoping it lives up to its promise.

See you at the opening tonight.

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