For Immediate Release 
APril 1, 2015

AN OFficial Statement Regarding RFRA From the IRT

To the Editor:

The Indiana Repertory Theatre is already witnessing the harmful effects of reactions to Indiana’s newlypassed RFRA legislation, as theatre practitioners cancel reservations to attend a national conference we are hosting in April, and fellow theatre producers and artists from around the country threaten to boycott our work. We fear this could be only the beginning. It saddens us that our welcoming and vibrant city is experiencing this negative national spotlight when so much in our business and cultural scene is thriving.

Our business model, as many others, is dependent on gathering talent from across the country to make art that is then witnessed by thousands, many of them from outside the state: the economic impact of this equation is significant, as audience members enjoy the many amenities of our city. As Indiana’s RFRA currently is being characterized, fairly or unfairly, our ability to attract both top-flight artists and diverse audiences may be significantly diminished. Art making, by its very nature, promotes tolerance and understanding, and the current furor, featuring much heat and little light, does not. We at the IRT stand for community building that includes all voices and welcomes all.

The leadership of the IRT encourages the General Assembly and Governor Pence to promptly make good on their commitment to amend or clarify the legislation so that we might begin the process of restoring our international reputation for Hoosier hospitality at the true crossroads of America, welcoming all.

Janet Allen
Executive Artistic Director 
Suzanne Sweeney 
Managing Director

Dan Emerson
Chair, IRT Board of Directors

Michael J. Harrington
Chair Elect, IRT Board of Directors


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.