Moving memories 


Audience members are challenged to discover and uncover collective and personal memories of absent people in a building that’s no longer there. Butler University theater students in Melli Hoppe’s class have spent this academic year researching and interweaving the strands of story connected with the now extinct Central State Hospital.
-‘Memory House’ will be performed April 22-24 at the Indiana Medical History Museum; 940-9659.-

“It’s a site-specific performance about history, but it’s based on images, not literal stories” of patients and their caregivers, says Hoppe, whose previous works have been set on the architecture and landscape of sites. “Eight things are happening at once in different rooms,” she explains. “The performers and audience members will be moving. You won’t see everything, you see what you see, you’ll discover what is happening. It will be a very personal experience for each audience member.”

Michael Bachman, a senior theater major, has been working in tandem with Hoppe since August. “We went to the site and gathered information. It became completely collaborative with students,” Bachman states, adding, “It’s taking conventions of theater and putting them in an unconventional place. It’s a movement piece that allows audience members to decide what to see and take away.”

He cautions us “not to bring preconceived notions of mental patients and institutions. Come with a clear mind and you’ll go away with your own memories.”

The hour-long performance, Memory House, with the audience standing and moving is at 7:30 p.m., April 22-24 at the Indiana Medical History Museum, 3045 W. Vermont St. Tickets at 940-9659 or


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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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