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Hoosier Shakes 2021 Auditions

Hoosier Shakes 2021 Spring and Summer Seasons

All roles open except Prospero and Richard III. Video Auditions only.

The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged)
Rehearsal on Zoom Feb 15- March 6
Rehearsal in-person March 7-11
Performances: Friday-Sundays March 12-28

* Stipend $200 for Rehearsals plus $50 per performance (9)

Summer Repertory
The Tempest and Richard III
Rehearsals May 16-June 4
Rehearsals in-person in Marion, IN. Housing provided for out of town actors.
Outdoor Indiana Tour: June 5-27 in Marion, Wabash, Fairmount, and Kokomo
Six performances per week.

Stipends range from $800-$1250 for summer six weeks. Spots for four college acting interns- $500 stipend. Housing and small per diem provided for all.

• Please prepare two contrasting Shakespearean monologues (at least one in verse) and a brief song of any kind that you enjoy singing. If you play an instrument, please demo.

Submission deadline January 31. Recordings should be submitted here.

Time Limit 3 minutes with music, 2 minutes without.

• Questions? Contact Artistic Director, Dennis Henry at

Merry. Marry. Mary.

You read these three words and, duh, obviously they have different meanings. (Oh, the joy of the English language and its many homophones!) But did you know that 57% of Americans pronounce these words exactly the same? Yep, according to a Harvard dialect survey, more than half of us utter all three of them as if they could rhyme with one another as precisely as they could rhyme with a wary, hairy, fairy. (You’re picturing one now, aren’t you? Ha!)

Any actor with a love of Shakespeare would cry foul, however, especially as relates to the difference between “merry” and “marry.” The former, they’d tell you, should have a “meh” sound to it and the latter should have a “mah” sound to it. (So, now you have something fun to try out the next time you go to a Christmasy wedding. You know you want to.)

For Mary Connell, protagonist of Ginna Hoben’s The Twelve Dates of Christmas, the conundrum inherent in these words goes a lot further. I mean, what if these words were hounding you through a year’s worth of holiday disasters? You can almost hear her being badgered by well-meaning yet sometimes overbearing family and friends:

“Marry, merry Mary!” – A command, perhaps?

“Mary, marry merry!” – Unsolicited advice?

“Merry Mary, Marry!” – A somewhat passive aggressive directive that suggests, Get married, yeah, but don’t forget to smile more!

As I’ve been getting to know Mary Connell to bring her story to the stage for Hoosier Shakes in November, I’ve found we have lots of things in common:

  • We both love food. (Um, is there any point in preparing for an event, activity, or just the day in general without planning it around a well-thought-out menu??)
  • We both rock at being awkward. (What is this “adulting” thing people keep talking about, anyway?)
  • We both do the whole actor’s life thing. (Ca-ching! Haha, I kid.)
  • Oh, and we’re both dating in our 30s. (Fun times, ya’all.)

Dating. It’s gotta have some end result, right? Marry, Mary! And boy howdy, dating and the holidays adds a whole level of extra-ness, doesn’t it? Because dating during the holidays means that you’re not just wading through the frogs on the way to finding the prince, but you’re also meant to be merry while you’re at it! And hey, don’t let any negative associations creep in from the frogs who have littered up some of those past holiday memories. Disassociate all that, be merry, and marry!

Mary goes on a bumpy ride through a year of dating, all while navigating holidays, complete with the expectations and rituals that come with them. Seriously, laughing at her dating mis-fires will be the salve to your own love life woes. Not assuming you have any such woes, of course. That would be rude. But if you do, or if 2020 has felt like a long, unhealthy relationship with a partner you just can’t seem to break up with, The Twelve Dates of Christmas will feel like a welcome tonic for all your grown groans.

Lend Hoosier Shakes a Hand!

Last month, we announced the suspension of our 2020 Summer Season due to COVID-19 restrictions. We regret not being able to bring our unique style of Shakespeare plays to Grant and Wabash counties. 

However, we have some good news! We are currently producing two Zoom performance recordings of this summer’s planned shows, Hamlet & Love’s Labour’s Lost, which you can take advantage of in exchange for helping us update our database.

If you take a moment to complete a survey (the link is located below) that provides us with your contact information, we will provide you with a link to one of these recordings by mid-to-late June!

Thank you for your continued support of Hoosier Shakes. We look forward to being with you next summer, in person. Stay tuned for announcements concerning next summer’s season.

Many thanks, 

Hoosier Shakes, Inc.


Hoosier Shakes is currently preparing for auditions and accepting video submissions for our Summer 2020 Season:

 Hamlet and Love’s Labors Lost

Please prepare two contrasting classical monologues, 1 minute each; one comedic and one dramatic, in the Shakespearean style. In addition, we would like to see 14-16 bars of a song, performed either
a capella or self-accompanied (if you can play an instrument, now is the time to shine!).

If you are planning on attending our live auditions, they will be held in Marion, IN on January 18th at 7pm in the Acting Lab, Elder Hall, Indiana Wesleyan University campus. Be prepared for cold read call-backs directly following auditions.

Please bring/submit a headshot and resume with your audition.
Video submissions can be sent to

Our season will run from May 17 – June 30. Any date conflicts should be listed with your submission.

Housing for out-of-town artists will be provided, as well as a modest stipend and potential per-diem. We do perform in repertoire, which means if you are cast you will be in both shows. If you are Equity and expect an Equity contract, please let us know in advance.

Questions? Contact us at or

Marketing Lead of Insurance Management Group, Regan Reese, Shares Thoughts about Hoosier Shakes

By: Regan Reese

·  What made you decide to partner with Hoosier Shakes?

We are a supporter of the arts and believe they play such an important role in our community. Hoosier Shakes offers such a unique way of bringing theatre and Shakespeare to life in a way that is meaningful and enjoyable for people of all ages!

·  What does partnering with Hoosier Shakes mean to you?

It’s been exciting to see Hoosier Shakes continue to grow and relate to new and return audiences. It’s a special gem in our community.

·  What do you hope to see from us this season?

We know that it will be nothing less than the fun, high energy, high quality performances audiences have come to know and expect! 

·  In what ways can our audience interact with your company/business/organization?

We love sponsoring the shirts for Hoosier Shakes! 

·  What is your favorite Shakespeare show and why?

Romeo and Juliet is always a favorite!

Sextons Creek Marketing & Development Director Reflects on Partnership with Hoosier Shakes

I’m Evan Gilmore, director of marketing and development for Sextons Creek. I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

  • What made you decide to partner with Hoosier Shakes?

At Sextons Creek, one of our core values is Flourishing Creativity. We know the value and transformative impact that public art can have on a local community. Having seen the effect that Hoosier Shakes has already had on the Grant County community, and how enthusiastically their productions have been received, it was not a difficult decision to invest in their efforts.

  • What does partnering with Hoosier Shakes mean to you?

It’s exciting to be associated with a group that approaches their work with excellence and passion. We strive to approach all that we do in a similar manner, so we certainly feel a kinship there.

  • In what ways can our audience interact with your company/business/organization?

We partner with businesses and organizations to provide comprehensive marketing services for web, video, audio, print, and just about any area our clients have a need. More information can be found at, by email at, or by calling (317) 516-4511. 

  • What is your favorite Shakespeare show and why?

Personally, probably a Midsummer Night’s Dream. Every time I see it performed, there’s always a new line a joke that I pick up on that eluded me previously!

Q & A with Julia Garber of the Community Foundation of Wabash County

  • What made you decide to partner with Hoosier Shakes?

In 2013, the Community Foundation of Wabash County refocused our grantmaking on urgent human need and support for enrichment activities that serve under-resourced citizens of the county.  We didn’t want to stop funding the arts in order to fund human need. Art is a human need! But often the cost of participating in the arts is too costly for some families. We wanted to make the arts an essential part of everyone’s life and to find ways to help everyone access the arts.  The model of Hoosier Shakes was a good fit for us. The company provides access to performances without charge and makes the sometimes difficult content of Shakespeare accessible to the modern ear.

  • What does partnering with Hoosier Shakes mean to you?

Hoosier Shakes is evidence that our small rural community is full of quality activities and learning. Community Foundations exist to support local and regional efforts and meet the needs of our citizens. We could never do this work ourselves, nor would we want to. We use the generous resources of our donors to partner with organizations and initiatives in the community that are bringing us a high quality of life.  Hoosier Shakes is one of our essential arts partners.

  • What do you hope to see from us this season?

We are eager to see Shakespeare’s As You Like It and Othello this summer at the Wabash ArtsFest in Charley Creek Gardens. [dates?] We also hope to see nice-sized audiences this summer. People who think Shakespeare is for snobs will find that he wrote for everyone.  He speaks to all our human emotions and even our social and political questions of the day. The genius of Shakespeare is his appeal to our need to laugh and cry and rage. Those messages come through clearly, even in Elizabethan English.

  • In what ways can our audience interact with your company/business/organization?

We appreciate any way that Hoosier Shakes can link the Community Foundation with Hoosier Shake’s own mission to enrich the region’s quality of place. How many small communities like ours have a Shakespeare company? It’s a wonderful asset for us.  I remember that the company did a little street theater at a First Friday event a few years ago to advertise Hoosier Shakes’ performances at the Charley Creek Arts Festival. Don’t hesitate to insert the name of the Community Foundation in any future promotional spectacles!  And we always appreciate signage at the performances themselves, as well as mention in a program, if you have one.

  • What is your favorite Shakespeare show? Why?

I love As You Like It.  I love the way a Shakespeare comedy takes chaotic situations and relationships and resolves the story in the end. I once used some lines from this play in a wedding that I officiated (You and you and heart in heart; You and you no cross can part.)  because marriage and relationships are like that, aren’t they? They can be chaotic at times, but eventually become strong and clear. More often than not, comedy is our experience of life. Few of us are tragic figures. Most of us are naturally born comedians! We live in in need of reconciliation and we find it when we love and respect each other.

By: Julie Garber, Program Director

What Does the Hoosier Shakes Company Manager Do?

As Company Manager for Hoosier Shakes, my prep time has consisted of organizing documents, creating documents, reading and writing mass emails, and becoming familiar with the scripts and directors’ concepts. Anything created and sent out is archived by me, so we can draw on it when needed. My prep time has also consisted of creating my kit, a helpful little collection of pencils, band-aids, gaff tape, you name it! A stage manager kit is like Mary Poppins’ carpetbag filled with theatrical goodies.

While I can physically show you my prompt book I’m creating (aka a massive binder that holds anything and everything needed for us to run the show) or stage manager kit, the preparation that I find the most important for a Company Manager to do is to establish relationship and communication with everyone in the cast and crew. One of the things I love about Hoosier Shakes is that it values the relationships it has with its company members and the community. By taking the time now to establish a relationship with the cast and crew, I hope it shows I value them as a person and artist. I hope it creates a space where they feel safe and able to create. So, yes, I send a lot of emails. I’m creating a bunch of documents. But when I stay on top of sending out materials when needed, staying in touch, and answering questions, I want to create a relationship where people feel safe, prepared, and willing to trust. It takes a lot of trust to put up a show. I trust the cast, crew, and producers with the story; I aim to prove that they can share their trust in me. A trusting and openly communicative relationship is what I am trying to build before we even meet. I’m so excited and honored to work with everyone, and I hope they’re ready to explore and play. If you need me, I’m just an email away!

By: Gloria Billinglsey

Q&A with Board Member Glen E. Devitt and his experience with Hoosier Shakes

Glen E. Devitt

Q: How has your experience with Hoosier Shakes been over the past few years?

A: It has been an interesting activity. As I have gotten older, my urge to be a life-long learner has increased. Hoosier Shakes is something that would not have been in my area of interest in the past. It seems to be a natural progression from my work with the Community School of the Arts in Marion, along with other performing arts groups in the area, (Civic Theater, Grant County Players, Dance Studios and the Drama department at IWU), to find myself involved with Hoosier Shakes and later to serve on the board.

Ana Burby as Beatrice in “Much Ado about Nothing.” Photo credit – Glen E. Devitt

Q: What is photographing HS like over the summers?

A: I have not really found anything I do not like to photograph, but I really enjoy theater and dance. Hoosier Shakes sticks with tradition in that these are not big, complicated productions with the audience somewhat removed from the production if it was on stage in a theater. The singular level, performers and audience, as well as the interaction during the performances is wonderful. I attend a lot of the summer performances and shoot from many angles. Some of my favorite images are reactions shooting back toward the audience members. I also find myself drawn to certain performers each year and may favor them with a higher count of pictures during the shows. I really enjoy the venues and the changes in the productions from location to location. Charlie Creek Gardens is a great venue when the weather cooperates and the performances are outside.

An young audience member taking in the delights of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Photo credit – Glen E. Devitt

Q: What is your favorite thing about being involved with HS (board of directors), seeing the performances, and photographing?

A: I love the interaction with new people and my understanding and appreciation for the works of Shakespeare, though limited, certainly has increased. I enjoy the interaction with the community and wished the possibility for an arts community facility and permanent location for Hoosier Shakes could have taken place. We will see. As with many boards, getting everyone’s schedules to mesh is tough, but the meeting are generally good and convenient. I love meeting and photographing the performers and those connected with the venues and the productions. Experiencing the shows over the last few seasons and getting a chance to shoot them with a better understanding of the staging is helpful. Catching key scenes and interactions is always a goal with capturing images. I also shoot more video clips during the last season with a change in camera systems. I visited Staunton, VA this last week during the Christmas Holiday and made a stop at the American Shakespeare Center as a result of one of the actors from Hoosier Shakes. I did not have time in the schedule to take in a show, but will on a future visit. Expanding horizons and learning new things.

“Show me the money” – Hoosier Shakes contribution to economic growth and development

How can a pay-what-you-will theatre company like Hoosier Shakes engage in economic development? Great question. Certainly not by investing in buildings or property.

Hoosier Shakes does, however, intentionally find ways to help bolster economic development by drawing attention to some wonderful outdoor and other beautiful spaces. Hoosier Shakes devotes at least one week each summer to providing performances in the downtown Marion area. First, we stormed the 3rd Street Courtyard and later the Grant County Family YMCA. We sought to bring life to a seemingly abandoned part of our city where the shops and businesses closed up shop and “rolled up the sidewalks” around dinnertime. That was then; now times are a-changin’. Downtown Marion is undergoing a bit of a renaissance and Hoosier Shakes looks forward to playing our part(s). As long as Hoosier Shakes is around, we’ll devote part of our season to reinvigorating downtown spaces in the Marion area.

Hoosier Shakes @ the 3rd Street Courtyard in 2016

Hoosier Shakes @ God’s House in 2017 & 2018

Hoosier Shakes also intentionally partners with local businesses and organizations to draw attention to Grant and Wabash Counties. By partnering with the Grant County Visitors Bureau, we’ve connected with restaurants such as Payne’s in Gas City, The Bridge in Upland, The Branch and Grains and Grill in Fairmount, Chapman’s Taproom in Wabash, and Folkies’ Tavern and The Abbey in Marion, among others, to encourage our patrons to eat and shop locally.

Hoosier Shakes also partners with College Inn Bed & Breakfast (Marion) and Haisely’s Hide-A-Way (Fairmount) to provide opportunities for lodging for our out-of-town guests.

Mississinewa 1812 provided free tickets for Hoosier Shakes to give away during performances to call attention to the annual reenactment of a local War of 1812 battle in Grant County. Our desire was to call attention to their good work and encourage our patrons to become their patrons as well.

Hoosier Shakes sponsors “meet and greets” where locals could meet and greet the cast during our season. We are always grateful to The Abbey Coffee Company and Folkies Tavern for their generous hospitality.

And we are always open to more ideas for partnering with local businesses and organizations. If you are a local business or work for one, let us know how Hoosier Shakes might partner with you.

Hoosier Shakes @ the YMCA (2017 & 2018)