Archive for October 4, 2015

Conner Scairie at Conner Prairie Opens Oct. 9, 2015

October 4, 2015 Leave a comment
Conner Prairie Headless Horseman

ABOVE: Headless Horseman at Conner Prairie. Photo provided by Conner Prairie and used with written permission.

By Duane Brodt
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park

Conner Prairie transforms into Conner Scairie next week for 11 days of Headless Horseman, a fall family tradition in central Indiana. And this year, guests can help Conner Prairie set a world record.

The 32nd year of Headless Horseman begins Oct. 9, 2015. Conner Scairie will be a haunted land inhabited by fun-loving ghouls Beautisha, a cosmetics-loving witch; underworld expert and stand-up comedian wannabe Dr. Acula; mad scientist Ed and assistant Esmeralda; magic storyteller Holly Ween; and the Headless Horseman roaming the land.

Guests of all ages are encouraged to attend in family friendly costumes. Each night, Disney’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” will be shown at Lenape Indian Camp. The story will also be shared through nightly marionette shows. Magic shows, storytelling, face painting, ghostly vortexes, fortune telling, music and more are offered each night.

And guests are asked to visit a new craft area each night of Headless Horseman and help ghouls create 6,000 origami bats. Once that feat is achieved and verified, Conner Prairie will be eligible to be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The Apple Store at Conner Prairie has extended hours each night of Headless Horseman. The store will serve up its popular gourmet caramel apples plus fresh cider slushies, popcorn, rice crispy treats and more until 9 p.m. each night.

And Headless Horseman guests can take in the fall sights and Conner Scairie from above as the 1859 Balloon Voyage exhibit will be open each night, weather permitting.

Sponsored by Reynolds, Goodwill, Marsh Supermarkets and Fishers Family Dentistry, Headless Horseman runs from 6-9 p.m. Oct. 9-11, 15-18 and 22-25. Activities and hayrides may run past 10 p.m. Tickets on Thursday and Sundays are $10 in advance, $12 at the gate and free for Conner Prairie members. Tickets for Fridays and Saturdays are $14 in advance, $16 at the gate and free for Plus Level members.

Advance sale tickets are available at select central Indiana Marsh and O’Malia’s locations:

Conner Prairie members can take advantage of a host of Headless Horseman perks, including free admission and an Express Pass to ride the hayride. For a list of perks, visit Guests may sign up to become a Conner Prairie member at the entrance of Headless Horseman.

Spanning 850 wooded acres in central Indiana, Conner Prairie welcomes more than 360,000 visitors of all ages annually. As Indiana’s only Smithsonian Institute affiliate, Conner Prairie offers various outdoor, historically themed destinations and indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering and math to offer an authentic look into history that shapes society today.

“The Nether” at the Phoenix Theatre, Oct. 22-Nov. 22, 2015

October 4, 2015 Leave a comment
Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis, Indiana. staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

By Olivia Hinkel
Phoenix Theatre

Phoenix Theatre of Indianapolis announces the Regional Premiere of “The Nether,” opening October 22, 2015 on the Frank and Katrina Basile Stage. This production runs through November 22, with Bryan Fonseca serving as director.


A science fiction drama by American playwright Jennifer Haley, The Nether unfolds in the year 2050, when the Internet has evolved into a vast network of virtual realms called the Nether. Users may log in, adopt any identity they choose, and indulge any whim they have. When Detective Morris stumbles upon a disturbing realm called the Hideaway, an interrogation ensues with the realm’s creator that quickly escalates into a battle regarding the ethics of technology and human desire.


For 33 years, Bryan Fonseca has served as the Producing Director of the Phoenix Theatre. He previously worked in Indianapolis as the Producing Director of the Broad Ripple Playhouse and the assistant to the Producing Director at the Civic Theatre of Indianapolis.

He was a founder and first Artistic Director of The Company Players in his hometown of Gary, Indiana. Bryan has directed for the MFA Playwrights Workshop at the Kennedy Center, The Human Race Theatre, Indiana University, Ball State University, and the Civic Theatre of Indianapolis.

Over the years, he transferred six Phoenix shows to Chicago. Bryan has received an Achievement and Service award from the Indiana Theatre Association, two Artist Fellowship awards from the Indiana State Arts Commission and two Creative Renewal Fellowships from the Arts Council of Indianapolis/Lilly Endowment.

He is the first recipient of the Transformational Impact Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, with the generous funding support of Lilly Endowment Inc.

In addition to his work at the Phoenix, he is an adjunct professor at IUPUI and lectures frequently at Butler University and the University of Indianapolis.

He has served on the board of the National New Play Network and developed and served as the first president of the League of Indianapolis Theaters.


The cast includes Bill Simmons as Sims/Papa, Rich Rand as Doyle, Sarah McGee as Detective Morris, Paeton Chavis as Iris, and Scot Greenwell as Woodnut.

Bill Simmons made his Phoenix debut in Durang/Durang in 1998. Since then he has appeared in several Phoenix productions including A Number, The Action Against Sol Schumann and Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge. Bill also co-founded Indy Actors’ Playground, an actor-centric monthly play-reading series.

Rich Rand has acted on and off Broadway; in regional theatres in the United States, Europe and Canada; and in film for public Television. Previous Phoenix credits include Stuff Happens; Jericho; and August: Osage County. Most recently, he directed One Man, Two Guvnors.

Sarah McGee is returning to the Phoenix stage for the first time since her debut in The Cock Fight Play in 2014.

Paeton Chavis is coming back for her third play, having appeared in both Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea and Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play in 2015.

Scot Greenwell has appeared in more than 20 productions at the Phoenix over the last nine years, including Freud’s Last Session, Norway, Next Fall, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Other credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Indiana Repertory Theatre); The Santaland Diaries, The Grapes of Wrath, and Little Shop of Horrors (Cardinal Stage Company). He is a member of Heartland Actors’ Repertory Theatre and appeared in their summer production of The Tempest.


Jennifer Haley is a playwright whose work delves into ethics in virtual reality and the impact of technology on our human relationships, identity, and desire.

She won the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her play, The Nether, produced in Los Angeles, off-Broadway, and on London’s West End. Other plays include Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, a horror story about suburban video game addiction, and Froggy, a noir thriller with interactive media design and a live soundtrack.

Jennifer has worked with Center Theatre Group, Royal Court Theatre, Headlong, Sonia Friedman Productions, the Humana Festival of New Plays, American Conservatory Theater, The Banff Centre, Sundance Theatre Lab, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Lark Play Development Center, PlayPenn, and Page 73.

She is a member of New Dramatists in New York City and lives in Los Angeles, where she founded the Playwrights Union.


The Nether was nominated for four Olivier Awards in 2015: Virgin Atlantic Best New Play, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, and XL Video Award for Best Set Design, which it won.

It is also the winner of the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and seven Ovation Awards. The Telegraph and Time Out gave The Nether 4 out of 5 stars.


Tickets for The Nether are on sale now. Tickets are $27.00 per person on Thursdays and Sundays, $33.00 per person on Fridays and Saturdays, and $20.00 for anyone 21 & under. During CheapSeats Weekend, September 24-27, all tickets are $20.

Tickets for The Nether may be purchased by calling the box office at 317.635.7529 or visiting

Curtain times for the production are: Thursdays at 7 pm, Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm.