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“The Color Purple” is on stage now at the Civic Theatre!

AshLee “PsyWrn Simone” Baskin, who plays Shug Avery and Jonathan Studdard, who plays Preacher, Ol’ Mister and works as equity and diversity liaiso at the Civic Theatre, joined us today to share what we can expect from the show.

You can see it now through October 23.

This show is the musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning story of hope and a celebration of life. The joyous jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music, and blues score sets the musical apart from the acclaimed 1985 film.

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Timothy Mooney, Chicago actor, is fresh from last month’s Indy performances of Breakneck Hamlet and Breakneck Julius Caesar is returning to the Indy Fringe Festival with Shakespeare’s Histories; Ten Epic Plays at a Breakneck Pace (also at the District Theatre, 627 Mass Ave.) August 20 (9 pm), 21 (6 pm), 28 (9 pm) & 29 (6 pm)!  

Mooney squeezes all ten of Shakespeare’s Histories into an epic one-man performance: the history of England, from 1066 to 1533 in a single hour! The Orlando Weekly called it “Spookily impressive… like attending one of the most entertaining lectures ever… a torrent of knowledge… a do-not miss show.”  

Combining the most brilliant speeches of some of Shakespeare’s most difficult plays into a single hour, Shakespeare’s Histories reveals the epic sweep of Shakespeare’s historical vision. Mooney notes, “It’s amazing when you realize that all of these famous lines that live in our everyday language, had their origins in these obscure plays. Almost every speech rings with familiarity at the same time that it reveals its profound contribution to human consciousness.  Suddenly, these challenging plays tell one complete, easy-to-grasp story in taut chronological order.” 

This will be Mooney’s fifth appearance at the Indy Fringe. (This is his 73rd fringe festival overall, while spending the last 20 school years touring colleges and high schools across the US with his award-winning one-man shows.) Past Indy Fringe appearances have included “Lot o’ Shakespeare” (2010), “The Greatest Speech of All Time” (2013), “Breakneck Hamlet” (2015) and Breakneck Julius Caesar (2018).  

Describing his process, Tim explains, “I’ve been inspired to bring substance and passion to the soliloquies and great speeches (while bridging the gaps of the ongoing action with a playful, snarky commentary that I can’t quite resist). By removing a couple of dozen actors and many hours of sometimes-archaic text, we surface the power that the original Elizabethan audience must have felt, giving access to one of our greatest cultural touchstones, making us suddenly more aware of the raging theatrical action that made these plays great in the first place.” 

Shakespeare’s Histories is the very first of Tim’s “Breakneck” series. “I had started out with a one-man show that featured monologues from every Shakespeare play, performed at random. But one day I found myself running my lines for the History monologues in chronological order. I was amazed at just how much more sense the speeches (and the plots of the plays) made when I looked at them in that order. I then doubled back to add in more of the crucial speeches, along with my usual trademark snarky narration to whip past the slow parts, and suddenly those ten plays came alive for me in a way like never before.” 

This Indy Fringe show will be performing at the District Theatre for performances on Friday, August 20 (9 pm), Saturday, August 21 (6 pm), Saturday, August 28 (9 pm) and Sunday, August 29 (6 pm). Tickets to “Shakespeare’s Histories” are now available on-line at  

More on Tim Mooney can be found at