Actors Theatre of Indiana Proudly Presents: Route 66

5/5 - (2 votes)

Feb. 2-18, 2024

Studio Theater

Written and created by Roger Bean

January 2024

Take a dollop of Grease, mix in some Pump Boys and Dinettes, and add a generous dose of Forever Plaid, and you’ve got the high-octane fun of Route 66! Beginning with the sounds of 1950s Chicago and traveling along the “Main Street of America” to the California coast with the surf music of the 1960s, this exciting musical revue features 34 of the greatest “Rock ‘n’ Road” hits of the 20th century. Songs include “Dead Man’s Curve,” “King of the Road,” “Six Days on the Road,” “Little GTO,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” and many more. Get your kicks on with this coast-to-coast hit musical!

Don’t wait! Put the pedal to the metal and get your tickets at atistage.org.

ATI’s Community-Wide Impact

Actors Theatre of Indiana (ATI) is a professional, not-for-profit theater organization of local and national artists dedicated to excellence in theatre production for a diverse patron base in Carmel and central Indiana. ATI enriches the culture of the community and uses theater as a tool for educational engagement.

Please join us in continuing to support local arts organizations such as ATI, which play a pivotal role in shaping and enriching the cultural landscape of a community and contribute significantly to the vibrancy of arts culture and education. Organizations such as ATI serve as the lifeblood of creative expression, fostering an environment where artists can thrive and audiences can engage with diverse artistic experiences.

Beyond entertainment, local arts initiatives often play a crucial role in educational outreach, providing valuable resources that enhance learning in schools and communities. The impact of ATI reaches far beyond the stage or gallery, leaving an enduring legacy that nurtures a love for the arts, fosters cultural pride, and stimulates a dynamic and interconnected community spirit.

Producing “High-Octane” Productions

In the wake of ATI’s announcement and transition of leadership, the Carmel-based theater company has shifted into high gear and is cruising into the new year with gusto, already planning its next full season. We spoke with two of ATI’s cofounders, Judy Fitzgerald and Cynthia “Cindy” Collins, about how ATI is part of Carmel’s economic engine that attracts people and companies to the city, as well as an integral contributor to the local arts and culture.

ATI Artistic Director Judy Fitzgerald shared her thoughts on going into the new year and the upcoming season.

ATI Presents Route 66
Judy Fitzgerald

“Finally, in 2024, ATI’s going back to the way it used to be,” Fitzgerald shared. “The support has been overwhelming, and the community has been behind us. We’ve seen that [support] since the beginning of ATI and even more now, getting through this transition. It feels like we’re getting back to ‘normal’ while we’re freshening things up, especially with our 2024-25 season. We are doing exciting things that will attract new people while remaining true to our patrons. We open our doors to everyone and hope to increase our attendance going forward.”

While it’s exciting to jet off to New York City to see a show, Hoosiers are fortunate to have the Center for the Performing Arts campus in Carmel and its resident companies, including ATI, to see extraordinary talent and equity theater.

For example, patrons of ATI may recall when the company produced Stephen Sondheim’s groundbreaking musical Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in February of 2020.

“I think that was a turning point for ATI because it showed people who we are and what we do,” Fitzgerald said. “We sold out the two nights at the Palladium, and that show was something to be proud of.”

Collins added, “Richard [J. Roberts] directed that for ATI. He’s brilliant and one of the best directors that I’ve worked with anywhere in the country. The collaboration between the director and the musical director, the choreographer, and the actors is what made that [production] great.”

ATI Presents Route 66
Cynthia Collins

When asked how Collins switches hats from actor to director so effortlessly, and how the relationship changes between her and the cast as the director, she replied, “Anytime you are directing or choreographing, it is a different dynamic when you are not a performer. You’re not in that little troupe of actors [who] are in a show; you’re on the artistic team. So, you’re talking with the stage manager more and collaborating with the musical director more. As a director, you really have to know your stuff going into rehearsal and begin staging [by] working through all of the bits and pieces going through the entire production.”

Collins shared that the four actors in Route 66 will only be using their first names. The original four actors in the stage production of Route 66 used only their first names: Scot, Andy, Brandon and Michael.

Collins said, “The guys are playing themselves, using only their first names and bringing [to the stage] their personalities, which is always fantastic. They all have incredible personalities. We’ll have a band feature, and the guys will join them, playing instruments, [which is] a little different [from] how that section is usually done.” She added, “Another fun aspect of Route 66 is the old commercials that come with the show. There are old Chevy and Texaco commercials, and there is great music! These guys are four powerhouse singers, and there are some really pretty songs and ballads in this [show], too. We wanted the guys to be more engaged instrument-wise with this production, [so] there’s one actor who’s playing the guitar, one who’s playing the accordion, and another who’s playing the cello.”

The music performed throughout Route 66 goes with the times, featuring classic songs from a variety of genres such as “King of the Road,” “Dead Man’s Curve,” “Little Old Lady from Pasadena,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” and many more. Patrons are sure to take a trip down nostalgia lane with this smash-hit musical revue!

Collins and Fitzgerald emphasized the importance of audience and cast engagement during the show. For them, it’s not only about the ticket sales, but the experience for the cast, crew and audience.

Route 66 is written in a way that makes it more engaging and fun,” Fitzgerald said. “There’s something about the way the show is written that’s just so funny, and you feel like you really know the performers and their personalities. They all have different personalities, and all four of them are incredible and funny.” She added, “I’m really excited for 2024. We’ve been in full rehearsal mode and full production meetings, and it’s like, ‘Okay…let’s go!’”

Cast Members in order as listed below, followed by Musical Director:

Cast

Brett Mutter

Craig Underwood

Eric Olson

Kieran Danaan

Director/Choreographer

Cynthia Collins

Musical Director

Brandon Vos

Scenic Design

P. Bernard Killian

Lighting Design

Quinten James

Sound Design

Zach Rosing

Costume Design

Alexander Stearns

Artistic Director

Judy Fitzgerald

Associate Artistic Director

Darrin Murrell

Artistic Director

Judy Fitzgerald

ATI Presents Route 66