IUSB Brings Four Summer Shows to Lerner Theatre

May 17, 2012

IUSB Dean for the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts Marvin Curtis doesn’t remember exactly when he and Lerner Theatre general manager David Smith decided to collaborate, but he does know that the partnership will be successful.

IUSB will bring four shows to the Lerner Theatre this summer in what Curtis hopes will be the start of an annual event between the two institutions.

The series starts with “H.M.S. Pinafore” on June 7, followed by “It’s a Wonderful Life” on July 12 and “A Raisin in the Sun” on Aug. 9.

The students who performed in these plays during the school year will reprise their roles at the Lerner. Curtis said scheduling students has been easy because many are from the area, but difficult because their schedules can change in the summer.

“It’s a little tricky because students obviously have jobs and things they need to do,” he said.

Despite the scheduling difficulties, he said the students have been receptive to the idea. Many have not seen the Lerner Theatre before or even performed in Elkhart. This way, his students get a second chance to perform in front of a different audience.

“I think it gives our students something to look forward to,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a win-win for everybody.”

Curtis said IUSB has received a grant so it can offer free tickets to children for the July 12 production of “Johnny Appleseed.” The 50-minute play is designed for kindergartners through fifth-graders. The school also has a grant to bring back Walter Allen Bennett Jr. for “A Raisin in the Sun.” Bennett studied under Lloyd Richards, who was the play’s original director.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $12 for seniors and $8 for children if purchased individually. Ticket packages including all four shows are $54. For more information on tickets call 293-4469 or go to www.thelerner.com. The Lerner is at 410 S. Main St., Elkhart.

For more information on the IUSB theater program go to www.iusb.edu/arts.