IRT kicks off their 51st Season with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Indy Maven attended the spooky opening night performance. Take our word for it: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a must-see.

Created in partnership with The Indiana Repertory Theatre.

We have officially entered the spooky season, Mavens, and the Indiana Repertory Theatre has delivered a production that is certain to get you into the holiday spirit. IRT’s 51 season opens with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, adapted for the stage by David Catlin, based on the book by Mary Shelley. The show runs through October 14, 2023.

It was, in fact, a dark and stormy night when Mary Shelley and her literary companions gathered for a sensual, raucous, and irreverent evening of Gothic storytelling. This adaptation exquisitely tells the story of the night that Frankenstein was created and is as thrilling and groundbreaking as the novel itself—as it experiments with love, grief, horror, and the power to create—or destroy—life.

IRT Mary Shelley’s FrankensteinAs we sat in the audience last Friday night, we were struck by the theme of loneliness, and how it affects the psyche. It, too, reverberated throughout the performance. Mary, herself, experiences loneliness in her relationship, and she translates those visceral feelings onto her literary creation. The writing and the performances then did what theatre does best: it made its audience feel those feelings, too. When isolated in his loneliness, is it any wonder Frankenstein follows through with such terrible deeds? One needs only to type out a cursory search on Google to confirm that loneliness and isolation is currently affecting individuals and society at large. The cast and crew of Frankenstein play out the consequences when taken to the extreme.

But fear not, Mavens. Time and again, the script and the actors bounce us out of the depths of despair, lightening the mood and relieving our woes with a good laugh. A delicate balance, but one they have fine-tuned. (If Andrea San Miguel is on stage, there’s a good indication a belly laugh is coming your way.)

The set, sound design, and costumes will whisk you away to Mary Shelley’s lifetime, an author that Artistic Director Benjamin Hanna describes as, “one of the world’s greatest feminist authors who defied gender norms and shocked the world.” Sounds like our kind of Maven. 

IRT Mary Shelley’s FrankensteinThis opening production is a sea change for IRT. There is new co-leadership in the house, comprised of Benjamin Hanna, Margot Lacy Eccles Artistic Director, and Suzanne Sweeney, Managing Director. As you may recall, Janet Allen stepped down this past spring, handing the reigns to Mr. Hanna.

“As the new Artistic Director, I look forward to welcoming our community of audiences, donors, volunteers, staff, and artists, while also extending our reach to welcome new audiences to our work,” expressed Benjamin Hanna. 

The 2023-2024 season focuses heavily on the power of the female story. So it’s only fitting that Frankenstein is headed by a female director, Risa Brainin.

“It is an honor to be directing the opening production of Benjamin Hanna’s inaugural season as the IRT’s Margot Lacy Eccles Artistic Director! And what a prescient moment to be in conversation with this great masterpiece,” said Risa Brainin, Director of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. “One of the central questions of the story is this: What is one’s responsibility to one’s creation—and its life thereafter? What starts as a spirited, fun evening with friends and lovers, grows deeper and more reflective as the story unfolds.” 

Tickets are available now for this electrifying season opener. And be sure to note below the additional programming IRT offers its audiences.

Maven Reminder: if you are a member, you receive a stellar discount code: $15 off for all shows this season. Book at using the promo code in Circle.


WHERE: Indiana Repertory Theatre, 140 W. Washington Street, OneAmerica Mainstage

IRT Mary Shelley’s FrankensteinRUN DATES:  September 20 – October 14, various times. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission. Tickets and performance schedule available at

TICKETS: Tickets start at $25. Click to buy now. But remember Mavens, if you are a member, you receive a stellar discount code: $15 off for all shows this season. Book at using the promo code in Circle. Offer valid on individual tickets priced $40 and higher. Other exclusions may apply. 



Saturday, September 30, 2023 | Following the 5 PM performance

Friday, October 6, 2023 | Following the 7:30 PM performance 

Sunday, October 1, 2023 | Artist Conversation following the 2 PM performance

Engage with the creative minds behind the scenes through staff-led Artist Conversations (actors, directors, and designers).

Sunday, October 1, 2023 | Artist Conversation following the 2 PM performance

Patrons with hearing needs are encouraged to sit in the interpretation zone and meet with the interpreter before the show. IRT also offers Assisted Listening Devices free of charge at each performance. To learn more visit

Thursday, October 5, 2023 | 6:30 – 8 pm 

Come spill the tea as you join members of the 19th-century Indianapolis Literary Society to discuss the radical new novel, Frankenstein. Enjoy an interactive conversation, complete with refreshments, as the women of 1832 ask you to help decide whether Mary Shelley’s work is an innovative masterpiece or a dangerous scourge. You have never been to a book club like this!
Cost: $30 p/person or $25 for Season Ticket Holders  

To register, please contact Education Manager Anna Barnett by September 28 at or call 317.916.4841  

Maura Malloy is a writer, minimalist, TedX Talker, and Indy Maven’s Managing Editor.

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