“The Price of Progress: The Indiana Avenue/IUPUI Story,” will be the first play at the historic Madam Walker Legacy Center since the closing of the landmark venue several years ago for major renovations. Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, November 4th, Friday, November 5th and Saturday, November 6th.
Free tickets are available now! Sponsors IUPUI and the Africana Repertory Theatre of IUPUI (ARTI) will make all three performances free to the public- while tickets last – to celebrate the reopening and to make the production accessible to the broadest possible audience from Central Indiana and beyond. Eventbrite ticket link.
ARTI manager Dr. Les Etienne said the host organization will specifically target former residents of the community in which the play is set, as well as students throughout the region to better acquaint them with a critical part of their heritage and the cultural experience of theater.
“The Price of Progress” is a two-act stage play originally produced to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of IUPUI in 2019. It was conceived by IUPUI Multicultural Center Director Khalilah Shabazz and written by Vernon A. Williams, Communication and Community Engagement Strategist for IUPUI. Several participants in the production were born and raised in the Indiana Avenue/Ransom Place neighborhood.
The production showcases the vivid heritage of an Indianapolis community dubbed “The Harlem of the Midwest,” for its thriving culture of Black-owned businesses, performing arts, educational influence, and a jazz legacy that attracted the most renowned musicians of the 20th Century. “The Price of Progress” also explores the impact of displacement and gentrification in Indianapolis.
The play candidly ascribes perceived and actual complicity on the part of IUPUI but also addresses healing measures assumed by campus leadership in more recent years. “The Price of Progress” celebrates the impactful first 50 years of IUPUI – one of the nation’s leading urban research campuses – chronicled through entertaining drama, comedy, music, dance and historical video.