February 10, 1977.
On this day opened the IUPUI University Theatre production of the popular musical, Oliver, music and lyrics by Lionel Bart, based on the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. The production was a roving one, with performances in three different campus venues. The first performance took place in the Krannert Building on IUPUI's 38th Street Campus. Two days later it moved to the Union Building on the Indiana University Medical Center campus on Michigan Street. The next night the production appeared in the Lecture Hall.
During its first decades IUPUI had a lively theater program, with many productions of a wide variety of often challenging and provocative plays and musical shows. But the campus lacked a designated theater space. The University Theatre was forced to perform in makeshift venues in a variety of buildings. As well as the three ill-suited spaces employed for Oliver, for a number of years the program also staged productions in the Mary Cable building, the former public-school building taken over by the university for classroom space. One can imagine the difficulties the actors and technicians faced in moving from one ill-suited venue to the next in a short time.
The IUPUI University Theatre closed in the 1990-1991 academic year due to fiscal constraints. IUPUI still does not have good theater space.
IUPUI Special Collections and Archives has extensive records of the IUPUI University Theatre, including many photos. Please contact us at email@example.com.