For Immediate Release 
oCTOBER 5, 2015

IRT Presents World Premiere Of April 4, 1968: BefoRE WE FORGOT HOW TO DREAM by Playwright-in-residence, James still

Indianapolis— On April 4, 1968 when Americans learned of Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, cities across the country tumultuously expressed their grief in violent upheaval. Indianapolis however, encouraged by Robert Kennedy’s plea for peace given at what is now known as the Kennedy King Park, remained one of the few peaceful cities in the country. Inspired by Indianapolis stories and the people who endured this untimely travesty is the platform for the world premiere of April 4, 1968: Before We Forgot How to Dream by playwright-in-residence, James Still.

Following five years of community listening projects with more than 50 Indianapolis residents, Still’s play offers an intimate look at one family as history unfolds around them.  

“One thing that struck me was the vast number of high school and college students who made it their mission to come and see what they thought was the start of Bobby Kennedy’s campaign,” said Still of his interviews. “Knowing this made me think about how these events effected and would affect young people in their lives, so my play focuses on multigenerational reactions to the events of that night.” 

At the center of the play, Still has created an Geneva, an effervescent 16-year-old African-American sophomore at Shortridge High School. Throughout the story Geneva, experiences a political and social awakening that catapults her into the events of April 4, 1968. 

The tenacity of her questions and her hope for a better future fuel the play, as well as the power of her desire to take part in the exciting and frightening changes she sees happening around her.

Janet Allen, IRT’s Executive Artistic Director, believes the purpose of this play is to ignite audience conversations around the issues of the play and to focus community awareness on the events that took place that night, as Indianapolis became the scene of a national event.

"In a moment like that, the events that make it into the newspapers are only the tip of the iceberg.  What James has explored theatrically is how those events impact the daily lives of ordinary people:  what changes in people's hearts when the world changes?  That's where the power of the theatre is most vivid, when we see how history spills over and alters people's lives," said Allen.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

April 4, 1968: Before We Forgot How to Dream comes to IRT’s Upperstage on October 20 through November 15. The IRT invites the community join in the opening night events on October 23. Guests are invited to create uplifting and peaceful signage to carry as they walk together from Scotty’s Brewhouse in downtown Indianapolis, past the Glick Peace Walk MLK, Jr. luminaria to the IRT. The event starts at 5:30 PM; complimentary appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages will be served.

Learn about the Cast and Creative team


What: April 4, 1968: Before We Forgot How to Dream

When: October 20 – November 15

Where: 140 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis | OneAmerica Mainstage

Cost: $25 -59 | Students $20

This production is two (2) hours and features one 15-minute intermission.  April 4, 1968: Before We Forgot How to Dream is recommended for adults students in grades 7-12.  For every signature six performances there is a pre-show chat that begins 45 minutes before curtain and last about 20 minutes.


    Saturday, October 24 @ 5 PM
    Thursday, November 5 @ 2 PM
    Join the IRT for our Thursday at 2 p.m. performances for complimentary cookies provided by Vanilla Bean Bakery- Indianapolis and coffee before and during intermission of your performance.
    Tuesday, November 10 @ 6:30 PM
    Join the IRT for Happy Hour by Sun King Brewery, Indianapolis, New Day Craft and Duos Indy Food Truck will be parked in front of the IRT. All drinks at the bar are half-priced.
    Enjoy a chef-selected three course meal and ticket to see April 4, 1968 for $75 per ticket.
  • IRTEA TALK, Sunday, November 1 @ 2 PM | ASL/AD
    Ray Boomhower and Wilma Moore, Indiana Historical Society
  • IRTEA TALK, Sunday, November 8 @ 2 PM
    Featuring playwright-in-residence, James Still and interviewees
    Wednesday, November 11 @ 2 PM



Are you a part of a mentoring organization? The Great Gatsby features four opportunities for you to bring a mentee to the IRT for only $20. That's right, your ticket is only $20 and the second ticket is FREE!

  • Tuesday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 21 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 31 at 1 p.m.

Founded in 1972, the IRT is the largest and fully professional not-for-profit theatre in the state and has grown into one of the leading regional theatres in the country. The mission of IRT is to produce top-quality, professional theatre and related activities, providing experiences that will engage, surprise, challenge and entertain people throughout their lifetimes, helping us build a vital and vibrant community.