Footlite Musicals, a vital and valued part of the Indy arts scene!
In 1955, a group of Indianapolis performers created Footlite Musicals, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to the purpose of presenting the best in avocational musical theatre. Between 1956 and 1974, the group produced and rehearsed 50 musicals in a variety of high school auditoriums and theaters throughout the Indianapolis area.
Footlite found a permanent home in 1974 when it leased the old Civic Theatre, located at 1847 North Alabama Street, and renamed it the Hedback Community Theater. In 1976, Mr. and Mrs. Phil Hedback donated the theater building and surrounding property.
Footlite Musicals is an all-volunteer organization administered by a Board of Directors and several committees with the support of a loyal membership paying nominal yearly dues. Productions are cast from open auditions, and no one in the cast or on staff is paid. The season is chosen each year by a committee assembled from our general membership.
The Hedback Theater is fortunate to have the beautiful two-manual, eleven-rank Page Theatre pipe organ, which was built in Lima, Ohio in 1925 for installation in a Fort Wayne mansion. Phil Hedback later purchased the organ and had it installed in its present location. Our organ has been renovated with the addition of six ranks, a toy chest and other interesting features. Members of The American Theatre Organ Society, who now own and maintain it as a historical instrument, play the organ before every performance.
Activity continues year-round at the theater to prepare for four full-scale Broadway musicals, a winter cabaret show and two summer Young Artists Productions. Footlite also conducts a children’s summer workshop, providing the opportunity to study with accomplished performers, and culminating in the production of a fully staged musical.
The Encore Association has honored the quality of Footlite’s work hundreds of times, in 1991, its production of “Into the Woods” received first place at the American Community Theatre Association’s national competition. It went on to win seven awards in the international competition in Toyama, Japan, thanks to the support of the Indianapolis theatre community and many individual supporters.
Ticket sales represent over half of Footlite’s income. Each show incurs approximately $5,000 in royalty costs and then must budget for all other production, maintenance, and administrative and building expenses. Future plans are to renovate and expand the building and grounds, create new rehearsal space and performance areas, upgrade our technical facilities and improve the overall look and usefulness of our theater. To accomplish these goals, Footlite continues its efforts in membership enrollment, volunteer recruitment and financial solicitation.
Footlite’s mission is to produce musicals and other dramatic offerings and to provide for education and training of persons in the theatre through hands-on experience and classes in the various stages of dramatic and musical theatre.
Footlite needs help of all sorts, and anyone is welcome. The varied activities call for volunteers with interests in sewing, box office, painting and set construction in addition to orchestral and performing talents. We seek your experience, your advice, your participation and your support. Call the Box Office at (317) 926-6630 to be a part of it all!