Theatrepalooza Educates Community in Fun and New Way

By: Caitlin Vanlaningham Last Updated: August 17, 2014

The Northwest Indiana Excellence in Theatre Foundation (NIETF) invited the local communities in Northwest Indiana to come have different kind of learning experience at Merrillville High School on Sunday afternoon. The first ever Theatrepalooza was the main attraction in the high school's auditorium and interested spectators came out to learn more.

"Today is a way to expand the horizons of the communities of Northwest Indiana," Ken Mertens Nominations Secretary for NIETF said. "It's great to see people come our here to learn more of what the theatre is all about. And this is also a great way to see bits of multiple shows. I can't get out to see them all so I want to see as many as I can."

NIETF has been recognizing excellence in community theatre in Northwest Indiana for over 20 years. Theatrepalooza is a great way for the communities to recognize the excellence in community theatre as well. It was made possible through a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission, South Shore Arts, and us here at Ideas in Motion Media. Performing arts is good news, and we like all types of good news.

NIETF supports the following theatres:
4th Street Theater
Beatniks on Conkey
CTG's Chicago Street Theatre
Crown Point Community Theatre
Dunes Summer Theatre
Gary Shakespeare Company
The Genesius Guild
Hammond Community Theatre
Highland Parks Performing Arts Group
L'arc en Ciel Theatre Group
Memorial Opera House
Portage Community Theatre
Valparaiso Theatrical Company
Ross Music Theatre
Towle Theater
The Unity Event

Samplings from shows that are coming up or just took place were performed on the auditorium stage. Scenes and musical numbers from The Wizard of Oz, Steel Magnolias, The Pajama Game, Spamalot, and other great shows could be seen at Theatrepalooza. During intermission, guests were able to meet the actors and actresses, enter to win door prizes, check out the different theatre vendor booths, buy tickets to upcoming shows, and find out how to volunteer. 

"I am super excited about how many people are here to experience all of the great theatre that is right in their backyards," NIETF President Becky Jascoviak said. "Typically our theatres only hold 50 or so guests and the high school auditorium is a large venue that can hold lots of people. This is a showcase event. We support 16 theatres and we have nine participating in Theatrepalooza. We were looking for a way to reach an audience that we don't normally reach. So this is a way to have a big event and attract a different audience."

After the show, an "After-Palooza" party was held at Catch-22 Restaurant in Merrillville.

For more information on NIETF visit www.nietf.org.

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