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Indiana Repertory Theatre’s Artistic Director, Janet Allen


Building audience, educating audiences and tweet seats?

Janet AllenJanet Allen, Artistic Director of Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis joins the Geeks + guest Geek Jessica Hardy to talk about this gem of a professional theatre in the heartland. Marcia’s daughter Deirdre Lovejoy appeared there in the world premiere of “The House that Jack Built” before heading off to Broadway (again).

Turns out IRT faces many of the same issues community theatres do, including audience building and retention, dealing with changing audience demands, new vs old works, play selection and more.  Janet Allen provides us with a lot of fascinating insights into her theatre as well as a few surprises.

About the theatre, from IRT’s website:

Since the Indiana Repertory Theatre was founded in 1972, it has grown into one of the leading regional theatres in the country, as well as one of the top-flight cultural institutions in the city and state. In 1991 Indiana’s General Assembly designated the IRT as “Theatre Laureate” of the state of Indiana. The IRT’s national reputation has been confirmed by prestigious grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lila Wallace–Reader’s Digest Fund, the Theatre Communications Group–Pew Charitable Trusts, the Shubert Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation, and by a Joyce Award from the Joyce Foundation.

About Janet Allen:

As the IRT’s artistic director for 17 seasons, Janet oversees the production process and education outreach programs, but she works closely with managing director Steven Stolen in supervising all aspects of the theatre. With former artistic director Tom Haas, she founded the IRT’s Discovery Series, which has now become one of the foremost theatre programs in the country for young audiences. Among the IRT productions she has directed are Julius Caesar, The Diary of Anne Frank, Macbeth, Looking over the President’s Shoulder (2008), The Drawer Boy, Ah, Wilderness!, and The Glass Menagerie.

(Note: “The Whipping Man” has come and gone at IRT, but check out the organization’s website at for information about upcoming productions and events.)


Music provided by Music Alley