Social Awareness

Ethical Courage

True Imagination

2015 – 2016 Season

Tickets $18 presale • $20 at the door • $12 students/seniors/veterans • $10 groups over 10 using the same form of payment (please call the box office to purchase group tickets: 317-522-8099) • Purchase Tickets

  • Water by the Spoonful

    by Quiara Alegría Hudes

    directed by Ronn Johnstone

    Elliot has returned to Philadelphia from Iraq, and in the midst of struggling to find his way as a wounded vet, has to plan the funeral of the Aunt who raised him, and confront the Mom who refused to. Yet the mother that Odessa could never be to Elliot is revealed in a chat room, where she mends the broken hearts of recovering addicts with a grace rarely seen. The boundaries and definitions of family are stretched across continents and cyberspace as birth families splinter and virtual families collide. Hudes' play searches long and hard for the hope that lives within every troubled heart. It is a genuine and often raw story, and a brooding meditation on how life always teeters on the brink of redemption. Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer for Drama, Water by the Spoonful is the middle play in a trilogy that explores the journey from war to peace; from wound to scar; from necessity to compassion.

    • IN THE NEWS
    • ★★★★★
      Nuvo loves Water By the Spoonful! "Wisdom Tooth's work is a true gift to Indianapolis."
    • WISDOM TOOTH ON WFYI
      WFYI's Jill Ditmire interviews director Ronn Johnstone and actors Mauricio Miranda (Elliot) and Dena Toler (Odessa).
    • PERFORMING ARTS PICK
      On the Aisle with Tom Alvarez names Water By the Spoonful a Performing Arts Pick!
  • Fat Pig

    by Neil LaBute

    directed by Callie Hartz

    Tom falls for Helen, a bright, funny, sexy young woman. Indeed, LaBute's play would be little more than a romantic romp if it wasn't for one, simple world in Helen's character description…Fat. And that single world forces the trim and upwardly mobile Tom to endlessly explain and justify his new relationship to everyone around him; mitigating weight and romance and rationalizing love. Fat Pig is, simply put, a play about love and cowardice. LaBute doesn't bog the play down with subjective drivel about what body types are "beautiful"; there's no equivocation here. He goes right to the cancer: why won't we love someone that others say we shouldn't? Solzhenitsn said, "It's amazing how complete the delusion that beauty is goodness." Sid Caesar said, "Comedy has to be based on truth. You take the truth and you put a little curlicue at the end." Neil LaBute has cleverly and hysterically married Alex and Sid, making Fat Pig the funniest curlicue about goodness you've seen in a long, long while.

  • Impressionism

    by Michael Jacobs

    directed by Amy Hayes

    In a small art gallery, Katherine Keenan and her assistant, Thomas Buckle, are hiding from a world that has shattered them. Thomas has been hurt by what he's seen behind his camera as a world-traveling photojournalist, and Katherine has been disappointed by incredibly failed relationships. Through gradually opening up to each other, they find that love is not always painted in the style of Realism, discovering the art of repairing broken lives.

    A mature, intelligent and witty play about love and art. – The New Jersey Courier
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor *

    by William Shakespeare

    directed by Bill Simmons

    Part farce, part sitcom, this most English of Shakespeare's comedies plays like a madcap episode of I Love Lucy. A drunken lecher with more ego than sense, two clever merchant's wives with a penchant for revenge, and a love–sick ingénue plagued by insufferable suitors, Merry Wives is a of sundae of pure hilarity topped with a sprinkle of wit.

    Heaven give you many, many merry days!
    Good husband, let us every one go home,
    And laugh this sport o'er by a country fire.
    An IndyShakes Production

    IndyShakes exists to produce language-driven, movement-charged, and emotionally truthful Classics and Classics-inspired plays with simplicity in order to frame and serve the actors who bravely embody the story.

2014 – 2015 Season

  • Distracted

    by Lisa Loomer

    directed by Milicent Wright

    Jesse can't sit still. He swears, raps, laughs, cries too much... and you can't get him into his pajamas! Dad says, "He's just a boy!" But his teacher thinks there's a problem. Is Jesse dysfunctional, just different, or is he distracted? Is the answer a pill, therapy, a new diet, less TV, or merely letting him "grow out of it"?

    It falls upon Mama to discover the answer to Jesse.

    With characteristic comic insight, Loomer goes deeper than a mere domestic drama, making Jesse the poster boy for a generation that has become the casualty of a world in which distraction is the primary existential condition. The jittery rhythms of Loomer's work mirror a modern life in a constant state of interruption, carried on in a technological Tower of Babel. In this world, Loomer asks with comic clarity: Who wouldn't have ADD?

    Presented through the kind sponsorship of Ellen & Richard Shevitz.

    A smartly comic, sharply observant and surprisingly humane play. – Associated Press
    A chronically entertaining comedy. – New York Daily News
  • Bad Seed

    freely adapted from William March's novel

    directed by Callie Hartz

    Rhoda's mother has an uneasy feeling…

    This is a true American horror story, one in which the fear comes not from ancient European Aristocracy, or failed experiments in immortality...but from the little ones you kiss goodnight.

    …first class work of moral bewilderments and responsibilities… – New York Times
    …terrifyingly good. – The Spectator (UK)
  • The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

    by Stephen Guirgis

    directed by Bill Wilkison

    Judas–sinner, scapegoat, or someone like us caught in a situation too far beyond him? In the darkly comic world between heaven and hell, like Friedman's Steambath or Sartre's No Exit, we must decide the ultimate fate of the world's most infamous and unexplained sinner.

    With a heart for life's losers and an unforced eloquence that finds the poetry in lowdown street talk, Guiris charges into the question of Judas with a fierce, questioning script that refuses the safety of glib answers. And in the end, he finds a Judas who is so much more–and less–than we'd ever imagined.

    Stephen Adly Guirgis has written a real jaw-dropper…expressionistic fantasy…raw language and flamboyantly street-savvy characters…his imagination is dazzling and his command of language downright thrilling. – Variety
    An extraordinary play…not since Angels in America have I seen a play so unafraid to acknowledge the power of the spirit… – The Guardian (UK)

    Bill Wilkison hails from the northwestern portion of Indiana known as "the region". Bill studied briefly at Ball State University before leaving and honing his crafts in the underground theatre scene of Chicago. Although Indianapolis audiences primarily know him as an actor (Cabaret Absinthe, Our Experiences During the First Days of Alligators, Raft of the Medusa) he is also an award winning director, accomplished artist and aspiring playwright. Over the years he has had the distinct pleasure of studying with Don LaCasse, Beth Turcotte, Judy Yordon, Mary Zimmerman and Jeff Corey. Directing credits include …Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Talk Radio, In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play), and On Golden Pond. He is currently the managing director of NoExit Performance, a player at ComedySportz and an actor at Conner Prairie.

  • Jason and (Medea) *

    A New Play based on an Old Story

    by Jessica Shoemaker

    directed by Amy Hayes

    Before Medea solidified her place in history as the classically infamous example of scorned wife and murderous mother, she was a shrewd, searching and sharply funny young woman.

    Utilizing a fresh contemporary poetic style, juxtaposed with bouts of surprising humor, Shoemaker guides an audience through the part of Medea's story that never gets told: the love story. Watch as a young man and a young woman, both with extraordinary potential, navigate the path to their future selves through fundamental questions about love, sex, gender and power.

    Jason and (Medea) is crafted with care and detail as it incorporates not only a mix of contemporary dialogue, heightened stage movement, and a poetic flair, but also gives audiences a fresh approach to this oft-told tale. – Chicago Theatre Beat
    Shakes off the dust of centuries to arrive at something freshly inspired and immediate… compelling – Chicago Critic
    An IndyShakes Production

    IndyShakes exists to produce language-driven, movement-charged, and emotionally truthful Classics and Classics-inspired plays with simplicity in order to frame and serve the actors who bravely embody the story.

2014 Festival Series – IndyFringe

Bang, Bang, You're Dead

Art *

An IndyShakes Production Produced by Wisdom Tooth Theatre Project

IndyShakes exists to produce language-driven, movement-charged, and emotionally truthful Classics and Classics-inspired plays with simplicity in order to frame and serve the actors who bravely embody the story.

About

Wisdom Tooth Theatre Project is the resident theatre company of the IndyFringe Basile Theatre located in Indianapolis, IN. Wisdom Tooth Theatre Project produces professional productions that seek to provoke social awareness, ethical courage, and true imagination while providing an intersection for emerging and established theatre professionals and creating a dynamic training ground for performing artists. Along with a full season of thought-provoking and moving productions, Wisdom Tooth also produces additional performance series and participates in and hosts a number of performance-related special events in the Indianapolis area. In addition to performance, Widsom Tooth offers a series of classes (Labs) focussing on developing the performance and practical skills of working actors. Labs are taught by three of Wisdom Tooth's teaching artists. All of Wisdom Tooth's teaching artists are available for private coaching upon request. Learn more about our teaching artists and Wisdom Tooth's mission

Resident of
IndyFringe Basile Theatre

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  • Ronn Johnstone

    Born and raised in sunny Southern California, Ronn studied and worked the LA theatre circuit until 1991, when he moved to New York to pursue graduate studies. In 1993 he began teaching, finally ending up as the Chair of Anderson University Theatre (1995-2014). Known primarily as an actor, he is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf, is a veteran of the stage, and has over 30 directing credits to his name. Ronn has worked at The Phoenix, ERT, TOTS, Comedy Sportz, The Bonderman Festival w/IRT, Arden, AUP and Indy Fringe. He is currently Producing Artistic Director of Wisdom Tooth Theatre Project where he teaches a clean, concise, and usable method that can bring an actor from idea to performance, enabling them to approach any role with confidence and insight.

    If I was in a training program, I would hope I'd be lucky enough to be in one with Ronn. Bryan Fonseca – Founder and Artistic Director, The Phoenix Theatre
  • Amy Hayes

    Since she was a young child, Amy Hayes has been performing for live audiences, singing on radio jingles, and recording in the studio. She studied acting at Interlochen Center for the Arts, received her B.A. in Theatre and English from Vanderbilt University, and her MFA in Acting from the University of Nebraska. She continues to study at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA and dance any chance she gets. She has been directing and teaching acting and Shakespeare courses at DePauw and other universities for twenty years.

    Watching Amy Hayes onstage is to discover why acting is–and always has been–the art form of our humanity. Watching her teach is to stumble upon a master class in being a human being. Kevin G. Coleman–Co-Founder and Director of Education Shakespeare & Company, Lenox, MA
  • Callie Hartz

    Callie Hartz is an Indiana native who has been acting since childhood. She holds a BFA in theatre and has worked continuously on stage, in film, as an improv artist, a stand-up comedian, and voice actor across North America. She has collaborated with Julliard and NYU and currently teaches at IUPUI and for the Indiana Repetory Theater. Her classes and workshops with Wisdom Tooth provide actors with training on the practical side of living and working as a professional actor.

    Callie takes a practical approach to acting and theatre. She is well-vetted in the industry and applies her knowledge and experience to the classroom. Callie gives you the tools to succeed in acting, and shows you how you can apply them to every day life. Kayla Duerson