Bloomington Playwrights Project, Cardinal Stage and Pigasus Institute announced their plans for a three-way merger on March 2. The three organizations will officially begin operations on July 1 to create one of the largest full-scale performing arts organizations in Southern Indiana.
The new organization will still carry out its founding organizations goals while expanding its operations and programming, increasing its service capacity and delivering quality theater, film and education opportunities to a larger, more diverse audience, according to the press release.
On April 23, the three founding organizations will hold a celebratory fundraiser called The Big Bang. They will debut the new organization’s name and brand as well as announce its first full season.
The company will be led by Artistic co-Directors Kate Galvin and Chad Rabinovitz, Managing Director Gabe Gloden and Development Director John Armstrong. The organization will retain all of its current full-time staff and has started adding new employees in administration, theatrical production and filmmaking, according to the press release.
“Whether it’s on the artistic side, the production side or the administrative side, I think we're going to be able to work better,” Galvin said. “Everyone's going to have a more narrow focus and be able to put the time in on their specific area rather than be stretched thin.”
Galvin said the main goal of the new organization is to produce theater with a mix of established work and new work. Each theater season will consist of original and established plays and musicals, family and holiday classics and theater for young audiences.
As current producing artistic director for BPP, Rabinovitz said the new organization will continue to promote new plays as one of BPP’s missions. He said 50% of what they produce will be new work and 50% established work.
Additionally, the organization will develop and produce multiple film projects throughout the year. The organization will create a new work development pipeline so plays can progress into films, according to the press release. Rabinovitz said the new organization is calling this the “Page to Stage to Screen Program.”
“Imagine being an audience member that gets to see a reading of a play and imagines what it would be like on stage,” Rabinovitz said. “Then they get to see it on stage, and then they get to see it transferred to a whole new medium and watch it on the screen before it gets distributed across the country or globe. All of that you saw right here in Bloomington first.”
The new organization’s Education and Outreach Initiatives will also offer classes, camps and experiential learning opportunities throughout the year for students and adults.
The three founding organizations are in the final stages of negotiation with the City of Bloomington to assume management of the John Waldron Arts Center, which will serve as the home for the new organization's administrative operations, according to the press release.
The new organization will also continue to manage the Ted Jones Playhouse and the Pigasus Institute’s film studio. Galvin said the John Waldron Arts Center and the Ted Jones Playhouse can now be rented out to local arts organizations looking for performance spaces. The new organization also wants to offer technical support along with rentals.