By Antonio Turner
Indiana State University
Creative dramatics and technical innovation combine in Crossroads Repertory Theatre’s retelling of the literary classic, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” opening June 23.
Set in London during the Victorian era and before Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” dives into how the mind alters our perception of the world around us. The play is based on a novella by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, first published in 1886. Jekyll creates a formula to test his theory that in every man dwells both forces of good and evil. His formula separates good and evil and turns Jekyll into a violent ruffian named Mr. Hyde.
“I want to see how people interpret the thrill of a guy who changes and turns into his worst nightmare,” said play director Chris Berchild. “Someone seeing the play for the first time can expect a lot of atmosphere and great acting. This play is special because it takes that old story and reimagines it. The audience can go in not knowing the original story and have a fresh take on the play and how it grabs you today.”
In an age of smartphones and short attention spans, it may be hard to keep audience members engaged in a production. After all, unlike Netflix, you can’t pause a live production and continue watching when you want. Crossroads Rep aims to keep the audience so focused on the production that time will go by without them noticing.
“Along with my cast and crew, I want to create something that is engaging from top to bottom,” said Berchild, who is artistic director of Crossroads Repertory Theatre and professor and theater department chair at Indiana State University. “My hope is that this production will erase the challenges of disengaged audience members. We want people to lose themselves in the production and just engage with these characters that are deeply flawed, crazy and energetic.”
This production is at the heart of this year’s theme – the tricks the mind plays. The theme strikes this play quite literally because it's about the mind being fractured.
“The mind continuously messes with us every day. It makes us have these dreams that are totally divorced from reality,” Berchild said. “There’s a great part in the play where they talk about how the mind operates. There is a distinction between the brain and mind. You find an open door no one knows about and, once you’ve crossed its threshold, you will find not one mind but two. Two streams of the consciousness, one on the surface, the other subterranean.”
Taking a 130-year-old novel and transitioning it to the live stage presents a few challenges. The adaptation was written by Jeffery Hatcher and calls for a small cast to play multiple roles. Leading up to opening night, Berchild and his team are embracing what it takes to bring the audience a great show.
“The show is a handful of actors, but they are playing 30 characters throughout the play,” Berchild said. “The cast practices about nine hours a day, with some cast members participating in more than one play. We are using this mechanism that was written into the play to make it part of the thrill. You never know who Hyde is or where Hyde is. They have to understand each role separately. If an actor can sell Woman Number Three just as good as they sell Hyde or Jekyll, then the audience will believe every one of those characters. I’ve got this amazing design team that has engineered a way to create an understandable difference between each character.”
And with theater, there is no way to bring a production to life without a team.
“A photographer can take his camera and create his artistic moments in isolation,” Berchild said. “Theater forces you to collaborate constantly with a shifting group of people. It’s a big payoff to be able to work with these people and to rely on their skill set as much as your own. My design team helps to create this world on stage, actors who are on the stage and staff of theater who creates a great guest experience. There are people who make sure that our lobby is cleaned, and that the ticket buying experience is great. As the old adage goes, the theater begins in the cloak room, but really it begins when you park your car. ”
"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" runs at 7:30 p.m. June 23 and 24, July 5, 8 and 13 and 4 p.m. June 25 in Indiana State's New Theater, 540 N. 7th St. Season tickets are available for $52 each, and single-production tickets are $15-20 for general admission.
For more information about this summer’s season or to buy tickets, go to crossroadsrep.com or call the box office at 812-237-3333.
In the process of finalizing the model and the impact numbers for the university, TPMA has identified additional sources of impact due to spending on vendors and suppliers to Indiana State University. This has resulted in an increase to our preliminary estimates: Indiana State contributes $381.84 million to the local economy on an annual basis, which is associated with 4,693 jobs and $159.81 million in earnings. Statewide, Indiana State's activities contribute $473.52 million to the economy annually, supporting 5,006 jobs with an associated earnings of $194.23 million.
Indiana State University
Indiana State University contributed more than $334 million and created or supported 4 percent of all jobs in the Wabash Valley, according to a recent economic impact analysis.
The study, initiated by Indiana State’s Division of University Engagement and the Business Engagement Center, examined Indiana State’s impact on job creation and economic growth throughout the state of Indiana and in the university’s seven-county service area, which includes Indiana counties Sullivan, Vigo, Clay, Parke and Vermillion, and Illinois counties Edgar and Clark, during fiscal year 2016.
Statewide, Indiana State’s total 2016 impact resulted in 4,537 jobs with earnings of $171.94 million and output of $410.79 million dollars. The results, presented at Indiana State’s board of trustees’ May meeting, are preliminary, and Indiana State expects to release the final findings later this month.
“Indiana State University is very grateful for the financial investment it receives from the state of Indiana and, each year, that investment helps the university carry out its vital educational mission while also providing a significant value-add benefit that spurs the economy of the region and state,” said Greg Goode, executive director of the university’s government relations department. “This study once more affirms the importance of public higher education as a 21st century economic driver, and the people of Indiana State work hard every day to better position west-central Indiana as a thriving, competitive region. We could not do this without the support of the state of Indiana.”
For the seven-county Indiana State service area, the university’s total 2016 impact produced 4,314 jobs on earnings of $143.95 million and economic output of $334.52 million.
Earnings refers to the gross income of wages earned at jobs directly created by or supported by Indiana State, while output calculates revenue generated by those wages, which are, in turn, used for further consumption or further spending within the specified region.
Region Impact Jobs Earnings Output
Total 4,537 $171.942 $410.79
Multipliers 1.35 1.44 1.57
“Once a dollar is spent within a regional economy, that dollar could be spent numerous more times before it exits that region — such is the case with ISU, each dollar paid out to residents and local businesses are used by those parties to buy other goods and services within the ISU service area,” said Brian Points, director of research at Thomas P. Miller and Associates (TPMA), an Indianapolis-based consulting and management firm that conducted the analysis. “This demonstrates the economic phenomenon of ‘ripple effects.’”
Fiscal year 2016 spending additions to the state economy included $182.71 million from Indiana State, $37.87 million from Indiana State students, $51.40 million from Indiana State employees and $1.44 million from visitors. The university employed 2,400 individuals in fiscal year 2016, including full- and part-time staff, but excluding students employed in work-study and assistantships. Indiana State’s fiscal year 2016 ran from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.
Of the $182.71 million Indiana State contributed to the state economy, the university spent $5 million on purchase card transactions; $87 million paid on invoices from organizations; $92 million compensated in initial payroll payments to faculty and staff. Much of the remaining expenses were lost to state and local impact due to the money being spend outside of these regions.
Points noted the estimates are conservative and that only purchases that occur within the examined seven-county region count towards that area’s economic impact analysis. The study analyzed nearly 40,000 procurement categories, which addressed potential duplications and “leakage” (or money that is spent by Indiana State or its employees outside of the service area).
In its final report, Points said TMPA will make recommendations on how the university can increase economic development in the region, including encouraging renovation of Indiana State’s Hulman Center. The center, a 10,200-seat multi-purpose arena opened in 1973, generated roughly $17 million in annual State impact, according to the university’s 2014 Hulman Center Report.
“Indiana State will continue to do whatever it can to implement Hulman Center renovations. At this time, the project is in the early phases of design and development,” said Daniel Pigg, director of Indiana State’s Business Engagement Center. “Our analysis shows that the renovation will result in a major economic boost to the downtown area and an increase in the number of conferences and hosted events at the facility.”
The report should also encourage Indiana residents and businesses to buy locally, which spurs economic development and increases revenue.
“If Indiana State hires an architectural firm from Tippecanoe County, it doesn’t benefit the Indiana State region, but it does benefit the state,” Points said. “If it hires a firm from Chicago, it neither benefits the state or the region.”
Indiana State commissioned a similar study, the 2012 Economic Impact Report, although those results are not directly comparable to the 2016 preliminary findings because of changes in methodology.
About Thomas P. Miller and Associates
Thomas P. Miller & Associates, LLC (TPMA), based in Indianapolis, Ind., envisions a world that thinks strategically, works collaboratively, and acts sustainably. TPMA has more than 27 years of experience in preparing workforce development strategies and couples experience with expertise in research and evaluation, economic development, education, and philanthropic services. TPMA’s clients include government, education and non-profit organizations across the United States, such as the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana and the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.