The Indiana Repertory Theatre, Spring 2023

As the theatre bids adieu to a seasoned leader, it expands audience offerings as it heads into a new chapter.
Janet Allen

This story was created in partnership with IRT. 

A new chapter is on the horizon for the Indiana Repertory Theatre as the Margot Lacy Eccles Artistic Director, Janet Allen, is set to retire on June 30, 2023. “After nearly 40 years of service to the IRT, it’s time for change, both for me and the institution,” said Allen. “I have had one of the most wonderful jobs on the planet—making art with amazing professionals from around the country, and sharing that art with the place I call home: Central Indiana and its communities of all ages, backgrounds, and viewpoints,” she said.

Janet Allen
Margot Lacy Eccles Artistic Director, Janet Allen

Her retirement coincides with IRT’s 50th Anniversary. Four of IRT’s five decades have had Allen at the helm, guiding it with a mission to provide top-quality theatre to Central Indiana. “It’s so powerful to be celebrating the longevity of this amazing institution that I have been honored to co-lead, to watch artists rise to the occasion of challenging plays, and to witness audiences fall into stories that will stay with them long after they leave the Theatre,” Allen added.

Allen leaves quite a legacy. During her tenure, IRT nearly doubled its budget and quadrupled its endowment. Her passion for education has brought theater to the children, growing student matinee attendance to 40% of the Theatre’s service. She encouraged and oversaw new play development and a youth playwriting program. She worked to create community amongst local artists. Under her leadership, IRT’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access has significantly deepened and broadened.

As such, at the end of 2022, IRT welcomed Devon Ginn as Director of Inclusion and Community Partnerships. While the theatre holds key relationships throughout the Central Indiana community, they also see a significant opportunity to grow and diversify, continuing the work to become an anti-racist, inclusive organization. “I am elated to join a robust and dynamic team actively producing world-class, inclusive theatre for the masses in the heart of Indiana. Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Access work requires stamina and compassion,” Ginn said. “I’m grateful for the foundation laid by senior leadership to ensure the IRT exists as a refuge for artists and patrons across identity strata.”

Green Room Meditations
Green Room Meditations Podcast

Ginn is spearheading a new offering for the IRT audience, in town and beyond: a podcast. Green Room Meditations “will create a space for theatre makers and lovers to examine the theatre industry through the lens of justice and defiant mindfulness.” The podcast’s title speaks both to theater (the green room is the space actors and crew congregate when not on stage/working) and to Ginn’s passion: meditation. In the introductory nine-minute episode he leads his listeners in a simple meditation. Only a handful of episodes have dropped, but Ginn is interviewing playwrights and writers. 

Oedipus by Carl Ragsdal. A painted man with red tears wearing a gold crown.
Oedipus by Carl Ragsdal

But what about plays, you ask? After all, IRT is a theatre. “Oedipus” opens on February 22 and runs through March 18th. There’s a reason the classics are still around; they wrestle with themes and challenges that are no stranger to any human heart. Surely IRT’s retelling will allow us to “fall into [the] story” as Janet Allen says. This classic Greek tale centers on an extraordinary leader. 

In March, “Shakespeare’s Will” shares a glimpse at the wife of the most famous man in literary history, Anne Hathaway, from what little is known about her — color us intrigued.

And in April, the games begin when everyone’s favorite murder mystery “Clue” opens on the 19th.

But we needn’t travel across time and space to find extraordinary leadership. We need only reflect upon IRT’s outgoing artistic director. I have seen Janet Allen on panels, I’ve auditioned for her, and I’ve interviewed her. Regardless of the circumstances, she always makes one feel welcome. She’s interested in your point of view. She’s genuinely curious. That makes for extraordinary leadership. And our hometown theatre has been lucky to have it these last forty years. 

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Maura Malloy is Indy Maven’s Assistant Editor and a one-time TedX Talker. Do you have a story to tell? A Maven to elevate? Maura is all ears. Reach her at 

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