Indiana State University Newsroom

Tickets available March 31 for ISU's production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood

March 25, 2014

Advance sale tickets will be available beginning March 31 for the upcoming musical Charles Dickens "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," co-produced by the Indiana State University department of theater and School of Music.

Rupert Holmes' Tony-winning musical comedy transports patrons back in time to a Victorian music hall where a rowdy ensemble of actors mounts a staging of Charles Dickens' unfinished novel. Everyone on stage is a suspect in the murder of young Edwin Drood-and it's up to the audience to choose the killer. Is it John Jasper, Edwin's protective but slightly maniacal uncle? Rosa Bud, his reluctant betrothed or the mysterious Neville Landless? Each performance ends differently, depending on what the audience decides.

The musical debuted as part of the New York Shakespeare Festival in August 1985, and, following revision, transferred to Broadway, where it ran until May 1987. Two national tours and a production in London's West End followed. The musical was revived by New York City's Roundabout Theater in 2012.

Drawing from pantomime and Dickens' unfinished novel, as well as experiences with Victorian-style music hall performance, Holmes conceived the central premises of the show. From the Dickens work, Holmes took the central plot and most of the featured characters. From music hall traditions, he created the lead character of "The Chairman" (played by Charles Adams), a sort of Master of Ceremonies and instigator of the action on stage. And from pantomime he retained the concept of the "Lead Boy" (played by alumnus Brandon Wentz) and the most ground-breaking aspect of audience participation.

This show within a show features students Neil Jordan Carpenter, Abby Cunning, Mackenzie Tank, Nicole Hill, James Stelle, Tanner Thurman, Rayanna Bibbs, Joe Ponda, Trenton Baker and Cameron Callan in dual roles.

Musical numbers include "The Wages of Sin," "Perfect Strangers,"" Both Sides of the Coin,""Don't Quit While You're Ahead" and "Moonfall." The production is directed by theater professor Chris Berchild, with Mark Carlisle of the School of Music serving as musical director.

Performances will be April 2-5 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Dreiser Theater, located north of Cherry on 6th Street. A 2 p.m. matinee performance is scheduled for April 6. The production, part of the College of Arts and Sciences Community Semester Series, is sponsored by WFIU.

Tickets for this musical will be sold only in advance. Tickets will not be available at the door, except those which were already paid for in advance by credit card. Cost is $20 for the general public. ISU students will get in free with their student ID. Tickets can be purchased with cash, check or credit card through the New Theater ticket office, located at 540 N. Seventh Street, from noon- 4 p.m. beginning Monday, March 31 through Friday, April 4.

For more information, call the New Theater Ticket Office at 812-237-3333 during the ticket office hours.


Contact: Trevor Hansen, ISU Theater Publicity Office, 812-237-3334

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications and Marketing, 812-237-3783 or