Archive for October 28, 2011

Update: Super Bowl XLVI Preparations

October 28, 2011 1 comment
Artist's Rendition of Super Bowl Village

Artist's Rendition of Super Bowl Village. Image provided by the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee and used with written permission.

By Dianna Boyce
2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee

Indianapolis – Mark Miles, chair of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, joined Allison Melangton, president and chief executive officer of the Host Committee, earlier today to discuss preparations for Super Bowl XLVI. Along with updates on community initiatives and programs, they outlined plans for the Super Bowl Village and introduced a program called XLVI Faces.

“Momentum continues to build in this community with each passing week in the NFL regular season,” said Miles. “We’ve watched our community programs meet their original goals and surpass them not quietly but with fervor. We’ve met people who have little interest in football but have embraced Super Bowl XLVI as an opportunity to take the international spotlight that it brings and turn it into long-lasting transformational opportunities.”

With the City’s Georgia Street project nearing completion, the Host Committee unveiled details for the three-block area that will be known as the Super Bowl Village. Highlights of the Super Bowl Village, which will be open January 27, 2012 through February 5, 2012, include:

  • The Super Bowl Village is a free, family-friendly fan gathering spot.
  • The ten-day run will feature live band entertainment on two stages.
  • One stage at Pennsylvania and Georgia (near Conseco Fieldhouse) and one stage at Meridian and Georgia.
  • More than 80 local, regional and national bands will perform.
  • Super Bowl Village will have a Kick Off on January 27 – perfect timing for local and regional families and friends to come downtown and get the thrill of the NFL Experience (NFLX), big time décor and entertainment on Georgia Street.
  • A four-line zip line will run tandem down Capitol Avenue. The zip lines run approximately 80’ tall and 650’ feet in length. A quick zip in your favorite football jersey on this zip line will be an unforgettable moment for any football fan! Enjoy the ride for $10.
  • Local and regional visitors who may not plan to attend Super Bowl XLVI are encouraged to visit the Super Bowl Village on the first weekend through Wednesday, February 1, 2012. During that time, people can kick off this event in grand style and have greater access to hotel and restaurant availability.
  • The Super Bowl Village will host a Tailgate Town where traditional tailgate competitions will happen. Football turf in the same area will provide an opportunity for interactive experiences for fans to participate.
  • Three Indy-style Super Cars – one with the AFC champion logo, one with the NFC champion logo and one Super Bowl-themed car – will reside in the Super Bowl Village.

A program called XLVI Faces was also revealed today. Through XLVI Faces, the Host Committee will share the voices, stories and faces of the people who are the heart of the Indianapolis Super Bowl. “As a community, the common denominator for the progress we are making is the people,” said Melangton. She added, “Each of these people, their integrity, passion, strength and heart, offer a window to the character of our fine city and state.”

The first group of Faces introduced today includes:

  • Valerie Davis, Near Eastside Legacy Project
  • Luke Huston, Super Bowl Student Ambassador
  • Gabriella Cabello, Super Bowl Green Corps Member
  • Felicia Ferguson, Super Bowl Volunteer
  • Traci Runge, Indy’s Super Cure
  • Bev Meska, Super Scarves
  • Lisa Talley, Super Bowl Host Committee
  • Joe Matthews, Super Bowl Legacy Project
  • Sunil Deo, Super Service
  • Anika Sykes, Team Legacy

Each of these people has a connection to the Super Bowl. Their stories, pictures and faces are told on They each don one of the Host Committee’s Super Scarves, representing thousands of volunteer hours from devoted people who handcrafted each one for our Super Bowl team. Over the next 100 days, you will meet 46 different faces, each with a compelling story that connects them to our community and Super Bowl XLVI.

“The Priest and the Prostitute” at Butler University

October 28, 2011 Leave a comment
Butler University

Butler University. staff photo.

By Marc Allan
Butler University

Butler Theatre’s 2011-2012 season continues Nov. 2-13 with an ancient Sanskrit farce, The Priest & the Prostitute (Bhagvadajjukam), directed by Christel DeHaan Visiting International Theatre Artist Kunju Vasudevan.

Previews are 8 p.m. Nov. 2-3. Performances are 8 p.m. Nov. 4-5 and Nov. 10-12, and 2 p.m. Nov. 6, 12 and 13, in Lilly Hall Studio Theatre 168.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students. Tickets are available by calling (317) 940-9247 or using the ticket reservation form (

The Priest & the Prostitute, which is believed to have been written in either the 2nd century A.D. by a playwright named Bodhayana or in the 7th century by Indian King Mahendra Varman, tells the story of an extremely serious priest who has given up all worldly pleasures and the student he mentors who thinks only of pleasures.

One day they’re in a beautiful garden when they see a courtesan and her friends celebrating life. The priest finds this appalling. The student delights in the courtesan’s joy and loveliness. While this is going on, the God of Death calls one of his messengers, gives him a list of people who are about to die and instructs him to bring back their souls. When the assistant shows up in the park, he hears one of the courtesans called a name on the list. The messenger has an assistant turn into a snake and bite her. She falls dead.

Her death bothers the student, but not the priest. They argue, and the priest decides to give up his soul. He dies, and the courtesan comes back to life – but with the priest’s soul in her body. Then the messenger of death comes back to announce there was a case of mistaken identity. The priest is brought back to life and starts behaving like the courtesan. Order ultimately is restored, but the play ends with a bit of a riddle – did all this actually happen?

Vasudevan said The Priest & the Prostitute had not been performed for several centuries before it was revived by teacher/performer Pynkulam Raman Chakyar.

“The Sanskrit theatre tradition of Kerala called Kutiyattam was performed only inside the temple till the 1950s,” Vasudevan said, “so only the highest people in society were allowed to see it. Raman Chakyar asked himself, ‘What is the point of having a theater tradition unless everyone can enjoy it?’ So Raman Chakyar took one part of this tradition, which is called Chakyar koothu, a storytelling tradition, out of the temple first, and then Kutiyattam, which literally translates to ‘combined acting.’

“He was almost excommunicated by the community. But he knew this was going to die unless it was taken out of the temple. Then he was the first one to teach anyone from any community by starting a department of Kutiyattam in Kerala Kalamandalam,” a major center for teaching Indian cultural arts.

Another performer, Mani Madhava Chakyar, was the first person to perform Kutiyattam outside Kerala, Vasudevan said. But it was Raman Chakyar who performed Kutiyattam outside India by presenting it in Europe with his students in 1980.

“Pynkulam Raman Chakyar is the most important name in the tradition of Sanskrit theater in Kerala,” Vasudevan said.

Vasudevan said the Butler production of The Priest & the Prostitute is a modified, shorter version of what one would see in Kerala, India.

He will incorporate some elements of kathakali, the Indian music/dance/drama combination he presented at Butler in September.

The theatre students, he said, have been eager to learn Indian drama techniques.

“I really enjoy working with the students here,” he said. “They are open to everything.”

The Priest & the Prostitute cast list (hometowns in parentheses)

Director: Kunju Vasudevan (Kerala, India)
Stage manager: Lauren Batson (Mundelin, Ill.)
Assistant stage manager: Katie Cooprider (Carmel, Ind.)
Yamaduta: *Bhasi Puligari (Kerala, India)
Yamaduta’s assistants: Thomas Benoist (St. Louis, Mo.)
Brittany Staten (Muncie, Ind.)
Hannah Sawicki (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Marcy Thornsberry (Louisville, Ky.)
Katie Shamory (as snake) (South Bend, Ind.)
Priest: Logan Moore (Indianapolis)
Shandilya: Quinn Leary (Naperville, Ill.)
Vasanti: Stephanny Tauber (Lowell, Ind.)
Vasanti’s assistants: Lauren Albert (Lexington, Ky.)
Shannon Campe (Libertyville, Ill.)
Kelsey Nylin (Avon, Ind.)
Veronica Orech (St. Charles, Ill.)
Amanda Reid (Crown Point, Ind.)

Vasanti’s mother: Kate Powell (Edgewood, Ky.)
Ramalik: Tyler Ostrander (West Chester, Ohio)
Dr. Banaspati: Shane Tarplee (Saint Paul, Ind.)
Theatre manager: Daniel Barnes (Frankfort, Ind.)
Nati, his wife: Megan Medley (Lexington, Ky.)
Drummers: *Aneesh Chemuttathu Veedu (Kerala, India)
*Jishnu Namboodiripad (Kerala, India)
Preshow drumming & curtains: Alexa Glaser (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Teddy Gumbleton (West Chester, Ohio)

Hali Bickford (Fort Wayne, Ind.)

Grace Ingraham (Union, Ky.)
Jenny Hogan (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Jaclyn McConnell (Greenfield, Ind.)


*Not Butler Students