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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student


Arts groups to present Utopian production

From IDS reports

Local arts groups will combine to present a dramatic work drawing on Indiana’s history of utopian experiments, such as New Harmony, Indiana, and Jim Jones’ People’s Temple in Indianapolis.

“Utopia: 21st Century Reflections on the Pursuit of Perfection” fuses historical fact and fantasy and includes elements of music, written word and spoken narration. On Feb. 20, it will be at the Brown County Playhouse.

"‘Utopia’ is about our collective yearning towards the end of suffering — and how much we are willing to sacrifice towards that end,” according to the Liberation Music Collective press 

Music will come from the Liberation Music Collective, a “socially conscious” big band composed of Jacobs School of Music students and alumni, according to the release.

Its composition is “an original musical suite that follows the triumphs and tribulations of characters in a fictional utopia,” according to the release.

The collective’s production of “Utopia” is mentored by Jacobs School of Music’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Career 
Development as part of the OECD’s annual collaboration with the Brown County Playhouse.

Written word will come from the Brown County Writers, Readers and Poets Society, while WFIU arts desk editor Yaël Ksander will provide narration.

The production focuses on the Rappite and Owenite communities of New Harmony and Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple.

The Rappites, who experimented with self-sustainability, founded the village of Harmony near the Wabash River in 1814. They sold the land to Robert Owen in 1824, and his Owenites practiced gender equality and communal living but dissolved within three years.

The People’s Temple was founded by Jim Jones in Indianapolis in 1956 before Jones moved his flock to California and eventually to Guyana, where his Peoples Temple Agricultural Project ended in mass suicide.

More information is available on the event’s Facebook page.

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