Hoosier Shakes is a professional, non-profit, repertory theatre specializing in Shakespearean art and other original works. Our vision is to create a new passion for classical theatre by reaching out to an array of audiences. Our desire is to develop the first production based Shakespearean Theatre Company in the state of Indiana. We plan to accomplish this through the utilization of professional artists, current Indiana Wesleyan University Theatre Students, and recently graduated IWU theatre Alumni.
This summer is our debut! In the courts of the downtown Marion center outdoor area, we will be performing “King Lear”, directed by Jeremy Fiebig, and “Twelfth Night”, directed by Patrick Midgley. These shows will be performed on Wednesday and run through Sunday for three consecutive weeks: June 8-12, 15-19, and 22-26. And these shows will cost you… NOTHING.
We have three basic hopes. We hope to:
1) bring professional theatre to Grant County at little to no cost.
a) According to the Kids Count Data Center at the Indiana Youth Institute, Grant County has the highest percentage of child poverty due to the unemployment and generational poverty that most local families are experiencing. This percentage is at an overwhelming 33.3%; 12% higher than the national average. In most local school, close to 95% of children receive free or reduced lunch. So, according the numbers, families don’t have the economic resources to be patrons at a professional theatre where tickets are $45-$250 a piece. Instead, we want to give them that very opportunity to experience the arts for FREE. We will hold showings Wednesday-Sunday in the downtown Marion square (outside) with minimal staging. We will also possibly partner with food vendors so that families can purchase food during the shows. This way families can come to the performance without hesitation due to cost.
2) generate a new economic flow into the Grant County's businesses.
a) With Hoosier Shakes having Indiana’s very first Shakespearean professional theatre company, as we gain more credibility and recognition, patrons will travel to Grant County to experience our season of shows; especially since they don’t have to worry about ticket prices and can spend the money towards traveling. While in Grant County, specifically Marion, patrons will be looking for somewhere to rest and something to eat. During free time when there are no performances, they will be able to explore the various small shops and family style diners. This will allow more money to flow into the Marion community.
3) give Indiana Wesleyan University theatre students an opportunity to expand their professional network.
a) Few, if any, of Indiana Wesleyan University’s recent theatre graduates are able to secure jobs in the highly competitive arts industry. With our hiring selection of 1/3 professional actors, 1/3 IWU theatre graduates and community members, and 1/3 current IWU students, this will allow students to create connections with professional actors who are succeeding in the highly competitive arts industry. With these connections, as students graduate and are looking for employment opportunities, these professional actors can provide information and possible opportunities that the students might have never had a chance to be a part of.
These goals and hopes are part of our grand strategy. However, as a non-profit organization, we will not be able to make the amount of money needed to run such a unique organization. That is why we are reaching out to you: local Marion community, Grant County, Indiana, and to anyone else who has a desire to see the arts flourish and see families have this opportunity in the state of Indiana. We don’t ask for much, but what we do ask is that if you have the desire to donate to this great cause, that you do so; no matter if the dollar amount is large or small. We also ask that you like us on Facebook at Hoosier Shakes and follow us on Twitter @hoosiershakes and let us know how we are doing. And finally, tell all of your friends and family members about Hoosier Shakes, coming to Marion Indiana and the surrounding Grant County June 8-12, 15-19, and 22-26 to provide you with a wonderful Shakespearean theatre experience.
Hope to see you all at our shows!!
Andrew J. Temple
Social Marketing Intern