Chesterton’s 4th Street Theater is back with “An Inspector Calls” – Chicago Tribune


Director Sandra Assarian has been waiting more than three years to round up scene suspects for the murder mystery “A Detective Calls.”

Assarian solved his own mystery in March during auditions to determine who his cast would be for the June 4-19 performance at the 4th Street Theater in Chesterton.

Performances are at 8 p.m. on June 4, 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18; and 3 p.m. on June 5, 12 and 19.

“We have so much talent in Northwest Indiana, but you never know who’s waiting to meet you every time a door opens,” Assarian said.

“For example, one of the leads is Janet Cole and she’s from Minneapolis. She saw the audition notice and introduced herself explaining that even though she’s from Minnesota, she’s here in our area for the next six months for a work project, and she was eager to devote her free time to a stage project as well.

In addition to Cole, who plays Sybil Birling, Dean Johanson of Griffith is cast as her husband Arthur, with Joe Synakiewicz of Dyer as the couple’s son Eric and Emmie Reigel of Chesterton as their daughter Sheila and George Romero of Valparaiso playing Shelia’s fiancé. Gerald. The family butler is played by Valparaiso’s Tom Olsen and the play’s main character, Inspector Goole, is played by Hanna’s Larry Piotrowski.

The play lasts two hours with an intermission. It is set in an English industrial town plagued by headlines about the suicide of a young girl who has a connection to a wealthy British family, all of which are unwelcoming to the inspector assigned to investigate and question the ties. possible with the victim. As each of the family members begins to turn on each other as the implications unfold, a startling revelation is brought to light in the story’s final moments.

“As a director, I’m often associated with producing these darker dramas and scenic programming that leaves audiences thinking and discussing what they’ve just witnessed,” Assarian said.

“I asked to direct this mystery play because it’s a play I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”

The play was written by English playwright JB Priestley and debuted in 1945 with an unveiling in the Soviet Union before its premiere at the New Theater in London a year later.

In February 2019, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater hosted a UK performance of the international revival tour of “An Inspector Calls”.

“The play is in three acts and it all takes place on the same night in April 1912,” Assarian said.

“I did all the set design for my run and created environments that are all captured in hues of black and white to give the atmosphere a look and feel of something uncomfortable and The first time I saw this play was in the late 1990s in London and it has intrigued me and made me think ever since.

Assarian said “An Inspector Calls” is “an exciting new series” that provides yet another reason for 4th Street Theater audiences to celebrate.

“This sold-out show marks our official return to the stage in the post-pandemic world,” Assarian said.

“When things closed in March 2020, we were set to do our ‘Art’ piece series and that never happened. We had been thinking about relaunching with ‘Art’ in September, but those plans had to change in due to the availability of actors. So far, the only stage lineup we’ve had since the pandemic is our annual festival of short plays.”

Assarian’s last production at the 4th Street Theater was the play “I’ve Never Seen Another Butterfly” in March 2017, which details the lives, hopes and tragic memories of those who lived in a former military community in times fallen into a ghetto in Czechoslovakia as a last stop for hundreds of thousands of Jews en route to the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

“I like what we do at 4th Street because it has a benefit for our audience,” Assarian said.

Johanson, who last starred in “Peter and Starcatcher” at the 4th Street Theater in October 2018, said he can’t wait to get back on stage at the intimate 50-seat theater because he thinks “a mystery of murder should be comfortable for the public”.

“I am the patriarch of a family that is close but also not very comfortable with itself, despite its wealth and its privileges.

“It’s an example that money doesn’t always buy happiness.”

“An Inspector Calls”

When: June 4-19

Or: 4th Street Theatre, 125 N. Fourth St., Chesterton

Cost: $20

Information: 219-926-7875;

Philip Potempa is a freelance journalist for the Post-Tribune.


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