Celebrating our 54th year of productions, Shawnee is Indiana's oldest continuous professional summer theatre. Way back in 1960, the curtain rose on our first play and a Hoosier tradition was born. We started in a barn with gravel floors in Bloomfield, Indiana, and moved to a brand new facility in 1979, just south of Bloomfield on Furnace Road. Thanks to a $271,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment through the Greene County Foundation, we were able in 1998 to give the theatre a face-lift, replacing the stage floor, lighting and sound systems, heating and air conditioning, and renovating the lobby and company housing, as well as adding handicapped accessible entrances.
Through the generous support of our growing community of patrons like you, we have been able to offer actors like John Belushi, Ken Kercheval, Leo Bermaster, and Marie Masters on our stage. Our thanks go out to the many who have helped our productions prosper, from the artists with works in our lobby gallery and children's workshops to the Bloomington Area Arts Council and corporate sponsors.
Kevin Lee Guthridge - Producing Artistic Director
Kevin Lee Guthridge, the Producing Artistic Director, first came to Shawnee in the summer of 2006 as an actor/director and has come back every season since. Some of his favorite productions have been directing and designing A Streetcar Named Desire and My Way, and performing the title role in Hank Williams: Lost Highway and Professor Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure. A graduate from Indiana State University, Guthridge resides in Indianapolis and works as a professional musician and actor. He has an impressive resume in marketing and production as not only has Guthridge been instrumental in the mounting of past seasons at Shawnee, he also serves as a Market Development Manager in and around the Midwest for companies like the Sony Corporation.
The Story of Shawnee
In June of 1960, the curtain went up on Shawnee Theatre's very first play, and a Hoosier tradition was born. For the next twenty years, plays took place in an old gravel-floored, un-air-conditioned barn just east of Bloomfield, Indiana.
By the 1970's audiences and the company had outgrown the barn. So, in 1979, the Board of Trustees moved Shawnee into a specially built theatre just off U.S. 231, a mile south of Bloomfield on Furnace Road.
As we prepare to raise the curtain on Shawnee's 53rd season, we have much to celebrate: Shawnee has endured to become Indiana's oldest continuous professional summer theatre. Famous actors like John Belushi, Ken Kercheval, Leo Burmester and Marie Masters have graced our stage. Our audiences continue to grow every year and the quality of the company and the plays we produce matches that of professional theatres everywhere. We have a heavy mantle to bear every year as we prepare to entertain and delight audiences, but we will once again rise to the challenge.
And now there is more good news! In 1998, through the new Greene County Foundation, Shawnee received a $271,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment. This funding was used for much-needed capital improvement projects: New heating and air conditioning, a new stage floor, a renovated lobby and company housing, handicap accessibility upgrade, and new sound and lighting systems!
Of course, none of this would mean anything without you - the audience. Since 1960, we have been supported by the best audiences in the world, as well as by a supportive arts community. From grants by the Bloomington Area Arts Council, to local artists displaying their works in our Lobby Gallery, to our Children's Workshop enrollment, to our corporate sponsors, we are indebted to the many people and groups that ensure that Shawnee will survive and prosper.
Become a part of this great ongoing project - visit our tickets and comments section so you can call and order your season ticket FlexPass or reserve seats for any show. If you would like to do more, visit our "Sponsor/Advertise" page and learn how you can support the Shawnee Theatre!