Theater 7 is a year-round professional theater company of the Wabash Valley based on 7 guiding principles, which include: maintaining a company that is racially diverse (while welcoming all other diversities); developing and presenting professional-quality new work by its core members as well as others with Wabash Valley roots; and presenting mainstage and touring productions of enduring and contemporary works that entertain, enlighten, challenge, inspire and uplift audiences, ultimately affirming positive human values.
Theater 7 sees theater as an especially effective vehicle for serving the best qualities and highest aspirations of individuals in every part of the Wabash Valley community while helping build a single community.
We hope you will take time to read the 7 principles, which represent Theater 7’s philosophical core and constitute the basis of our name. They are included elsewhere on our website.
In keeping with our commitment to serve the community, we tour exciting accessible theater pieces to schools, youth centers and other community institutions. Theater 7 also pledges to donate a dollar from every ticket sold for its mainstage productions to a local charity; in this way, your attendance at a Theater 7 production is another way of helping some of our neighbors.
Theater 7 is operating under the fiscal agency of Arts Illiana, Jon Roberson, Executive Director.
Art Spaces, Inc. and the Community School for the Arts invited members of the Wabash Valley to participate in the Max Ehrmann Poetry Contest. Bryant Clayton, Jr., a graduate of Indiana State University and a member of Theater 7’s Core Company, drew inspiration from eleven of the poems submitted by middle school students and crafted Here in the Universe, a musical play that asks the question, “What does it mean to belong?”
Here in the Universe toured Vigo County Middle Schools throughout the 2016-2017 school year, with the support of the Indiana State University Bayh College of Education and a grant from the Community Foundation of Terre Haute.
Ryves Youth Center - August 3, 2016
Indiana Theater - September 14, 2016
Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) published four novels and more than 50 short stories, plays, and essays about the African-American experience and her struggles as an African-American woman. Her masterpiece, Their Eyes Were Watching God, was the subject of the NEA Big Read in 2017, a program sponsored by the Vigo County Public Library and supported by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
To complement the initiative, Theater 7 selected Spunk as their inaugural main stage production. The play, inspired by three of Hurston’s short stories, celebrates the human spirit's ability to overcome and endure. Utilizing the blues, choral narrative and dance, the three tales focus on men and women trapped inside the "laughin' kind of lovin' kind of hurtin' kind of pain that comes from being human."
Indiana Theater - February 17, 18, 19, 24, and 25, 2017.
Death of a Salesman, an American classic about a struggling New England salesman, is as relevant today as it was when it opened on Broadway in 1949. Through a series of tragic soul-searching revelations of the life he has lived with his wife, his sons, and his business associates, we discover how his quest for the "American Dream" kept him blind to the people who truly loved him. Though widely considered a tragedy, the Lomans’ story is also one of endurance, individuality, and courage.
Theater 7’s production was distinct for several reasons, including its emphasis on an uplifting message, a minimalist set, and its diverse cast. In Feinsod’s production, the Lomans’ inclusive neighborhood featured a jazz club, where Willy meets his sons in a unique take on a pivotal scene. Adaptations and original music composed by Core Company-member Arnick Shouse added a jazz soundtrack to the play.
Indiana Theater - June 2, 3, 4, 9 and 10, 2017
In the heart of his barren apartment Billy is in for the fight of his life as ID, the embodiment of his addiction, is not about to lose control. An examination of the struggles of getting clean, Withdrawn brings the audience face to face with the power of addiction.
Withdrawn, along with Hooked, by Bryant Clayton, Jr., were awarded a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission. Theater 7, in collaboration with Mental Health America West Central Indiana, toured local residential facilities to share these plays’ message of hope for recovery to members of our community dealing with addictions.
Terre Haute Brewing Company - September 21st, 2017
Liberty and YOUnity Villages –
Charles Dickens (played by Charles James Adams) is on yet another one of his famous reading tours. While visiting the Terre Haute Brewery, Dickens decides to mix it up a bit while performing his classic 1843 story A Christmas Carol. In so doing, he takes on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge himself as well as Jacob Marley, Old Fezziwig, Tiny Tim, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to— well, you get the idea. Come see Dickens like you’ve never seen him before!
Terre Haute Brewing Company - November 16th, 2017
In Central Europe, a man called Noah survived a flood decades ago, becoming the sole inhabitant of a town between two dams. Deciding to create his own new world, he invites ten of society’s outsiders to live there: two Muslims, Jews, gypsies, gay people and politically disenfranchised Christians. Noah and his son Shem struggle to maintain their utopia built on respect, participation in each others’ traditions, and faith in Humanity and God against internal and external threats from potential floods and a surprise visit from two Californians with designs of their own.
In 2016, Arthur Feinsod, an Indiana State University professor and one of Theater 7’s co-founders, journeyed to Hungary where he conducted interviews with disenfranchised members of their society. These interviews would comprise the basis of Between the Dams. A staged reading of the play took place in the Jewish Community Center of Budapest in mid-April of 2016 and was livestreamed to Indiana State University for an open viewing.
On November 20, 2017, another staged reading was held in Hungary by award-winning Hungarian translator, Anna Lengyel, and starring Hungarian actor Andor Lukáts.
In honor of Between the Dams’ Hungarian roots and connection, the Hungarian Lodge of Terre Haute sponsored the American premier and treated the audience to some traditional Hungarian Christmas celebrations.
Terre Haute Brewing Company - December 21st, 2017
Pretty Fire was originally a one-woman show by and starring Charlayne Woodard, in which she recounts her experiences growing up a woman of color in 1950’s America. Theater 7 performed a version of the script modified by Ms. Woodard to accommodate an ensemble cast.
At times funny, at others heavy, Pretty Fire features song, faith, and family, and leaves audiences challenged but ultimately encouraged and uplifted by Woodard’s journey through the “pretty fire” of adversity.
Terre Haute Brewing Company - February 16th, 17th, 18th (2:30 matinee), 23rd, 24th
Set in the misty, hot, and groovy Sweet N’ Lo Juke Joint, Hooked follows the journey of the talented and tormented characters Lu Lu, Leslie, and Devin. Conducted by the sly and charming Sweetness, it’s evident that this place intended for sensuality and warmth reveals something much more disturbing. While each character reveals their battle with addiction through poetry, rap, and song, Hooked shifts the focus of addiction to its origin, its story, and its psychological impact on each character. Song after song, empathy for the characters sets in, challenging the viewer’s notion of what it means to be hooked.
Hooked, along with Withdrawn, by Tim Dick, were awarded a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission. Theater 7, in collaboration with Mental Health America West Central Indiana, toured local residential facilities to share these plays’ message of hope for recovery to members of our community dealing with addictions.
Terre Haute Brewing Company - March 15th, 2018
Liberty and YOUnity Villages – Spring 2018
On Friday, the twenty-seventh of November 1835, James Pratt and John Smith became the last two men in England to be executed for sodomy. Particular Disposition follows their story— from meeting each other to their last moments together in Newgate Prison— through the eyes of their mutual friend and cause of their conviction and death, William Bonill.
The playwright, Ben Fulk, shared these thoughts: "As I was writing the play over the course of the last five years, I started to believe that it was almost becoming irrelevant. I believed that it would simply become a historical play and story that people would say ‘oh, how tragic’ and then go on about their lives. But then came ISIS throwing gay men and boys off rooftops or stoning them to death. Then came Russia initiating anti-gay propaganda laws. Then came Chechnya rounding up gay men and throwing them into camps. Whenever we start to see progress, especially social progress, it is almost immediately followed by backlash to try and stop its momentum. The play is more relevant now than it has ever been."
Terre Haute Brewing Company - April 19th, 2018
What do you do when, in the middle of your life of luxury, a stranger shows up and challenges you to find someone to join you on your final journey to the grave? Everyman answers that question in Theater 7’s Gospel of Everyman, an adaptation and update of a Medieval Morality play by ISU Professor of Theater and Theater 7's Artistic Director, Arthur Feinsod.
The original Everyman is an English play written by an anonymous author around 1500. It is one of many such Morality Plays, which use allegorical characters on a moral journey who are tempted by vices and supported by virtues. This adaptation seeks to showcase these universal human values with contemporary allusions and imagery as well as a gospel choir.
Theater 7’s Gospel of Everyman was sponsored in part by a 2018 City of Terre Haute Arts Project Grant.
Cecilian Auditorium at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods – May 18, 19, and 20, 2018
The First Congregational Church of Terre Haute – May 23 and 24, 2018