Indiana State University Newsroom

Crossroads Rep to mark 50 years

January 14, 2015

Old Man Winter has many dreaming of summer; at Indiana State University, plans are well under way to make the most of the warmer weather -- and mark the 50th anniversary of Crossroads Repertory Theatre.

The four-production season in June and July promises to be an homage to the past -- bringing back "The Rainmaker" from the first season of what was then known as Summer Theatre and a musical cabaret featuring some of the company's most-loved musical and cabaret performances -- as well as more modern productions "A Wrinkle in Time" and the Broadway blockbuster "Rent."

In keeping with the fresh-and-new theme, Crossroads Rep has also welcomed a new artistic director, Chris Berchild, chair of the Indiana State theater department.

"I would like to thank former artistic director Arthur Feinsod, who will be directing our season-opener this year, for his leadership over the past 12 summers," Berchild said.

In 1965, the theater division of Indiana State's department of speech began producing plays during the summer under the name ISU Summer Theatre. Led by Tom Headley, the company was composed of Indiana State students and theater faculty as an extension of the academic year.

Headley continued to secure Summer Theatre's foothold and build its success until 1974, passing the torch to Jack Oblak. Two years later, Gary Stewart became artistic director and introduced sweeping changes, including a rotating repertory structure in 1976, changing the name to SummerStage in 1983, upgrading its status to a "Professional Stock Theater" in 1986 and hiring actors who were members of the Actor's Equity Association.

Lew Hackleman was artistic director, 1999-2000, and was joined by Stewart as co-head for 2001. Feinsod took the reigns the following summer, a position he held until this past season. In 2006, the company's name was changed once again to the current Crossroads Repertory Theatre.

Through all the changes of the past five decades, one thing has remained constant -- offering theatrical work of the highest caliber, from acting to special effects. The company's innovative takes on classic plays and musicals continues to draw the best talent regionally, and alumni have been featured on prestigious marquees all over the nation and beyond.

"We're looking forward to seeing both new and familiar faces in the cast and crew of CRT this summer, bringing what we consider to be the best plays, designs and performances to the New Theater stage," Berchild said.

The 2015 lineup includes:

-- "The Rainmaker," a classic romantic comedy set in Depression-era America by N. Richard Nash, will be re-envisioned by Feinsod for the Crossroads Rep stage.

-- The children's classic "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeline L'Engle is adapted for stage by John Glore and will be directed by Bill Kincaid of Western Illinois University. This wondrous story -- and winner of the prestigious Newbery Award in 1963 -- is a delight for audiences both young and old, exploding with imagination and stage magic and a sci-fi story that has entranced the world for decades.

-- The Crossroads Rep will present a "50th Anniversary Musical Cabaret" honor of one of Terre Haute's most treasured traditions, Summer Stage's "Cabaret" performances. The evening of song will feature performances by members of the company and some familiar faces from seasons past. Directed by Michelle Azar, this performance will leave you singing these tunes, tapping your toes and smiling from ear to ear.

-- Last, but certainly not least, Crossroads Rep rounds out the season with the modern musical tour de force, "Rent." With book and music by Jonathan Larson, this Tony and Pulitzer Award-winning musical depicts a year in the life of young artists and musicians struggling against the odds to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side. Directed by Berchild, it will feature a cast of spectacular young performers.

Season tickets are available for $52 each, and single-production tickets are $15-20 for general admission.

To buy tickets or donate to Crossroads Repertory Theatre, go to or call the box office, which opens June 15, at 812-237-3333.


Contact: David Valdez, instructor, department of theater at Indiana State University, or 812-237-3337.

Media Contact: Libby Roerig, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or