"Interpreting William" theater review 

Searching for history and not quite finding the present runs through IRT playwright-in-residence James Still's fifth dramatization of what he calls his "Indiana cycle." William Conner (of Conner Prairie fame) seemingly left nothing in writing as clues to how he felt about the actions he took and choices he made during early 19th century Indiana territorial and statehood eras. We do have documentation of his actions and choices. Still placed his own frustration of not knowing the emotional depth of Conner within a historian-character, Bill Montgomery, who is seeking to uncover "why did Conner do it" -- Montgomery is writing a book in order to gain tenure and a secure place in academe. Conner, in contemporary values, is duplicitous in dealing with the Lenape (Delaware Indians) in general and his own wife and children in particular. IRT Artistic Director Janet Allen speaks of approaching the elusive "why?" through the process of refraction. Thus, in hopes of gaining insights into Conner's feelings, we learn about campus politics and the cycling of human nature when it comes down to choices of career vs. family as the script shifts between then and now. An evocative eeriness floats throughout the structure of a production in pursuit of itself. Through May 31; 317-635-5252, www.irtlive.com.

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Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn has been covering craft beer and the arts for NUVO for two decades. She’s the author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana.

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