November 11, 1983.
On this day, the IUPUI University Theater opened its run of performances of The Runner Stumbles, a play by Milan Stitt focused on the murder of a Catholic nun in northern Michigan in 1911. The production was housed in the Mary Cable Building on Blackford Street, a former public school building that IUPUI bought for classroom space and other purposes. The play was first performed in Great Britain in 1971 and on Broadway in 1976. It was later turned into a film.
The challenging stage work was directed by IUPUI professor of theater Dr. Edgar Webb. IUPUI students filled all the roles. After the initial performance five members of the Indianapolis community, including members of the Catholic clergy, led audience discussion of the work. In reviewing the performance and analysis, Bill Nolan of the Sagamore, the IUPUI student newspaper, noted that the post-performance discussion lasted an hour with few questions "answered conclusively--a state of affairs that reflects not on the acuity of the audience or the panelists, but on the complexity of the issues addressed" in the play.
To research the rich theater history at IUPUI, please contact IUPUI Special Collections and Archives firstname.lastname@example.org.