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An Inspector Calls

Poster for an Inspector Calls
4th Street Theater proudly presents An Inspector Calls, a play by JB Priestley, first performed in 1945, but as relevant today as it was then.  This moral fable will tug at both your conscience and your heartstrings.  It will leave you questioning your own views on social responsibility.  Bring your moral compass with you.  This is a classic take of good versus evil, but with a mix of comedy and death, and poverty versus wealth.  Secrets are revealed, sins are confessed, and ideologies are challenged. Decide for yourself whether or not we are responsible to treat each other with good will.
The play follows the members of the wealthy Birling family in 1912, during the genteel Edwardian era.  As the family is enjoying a get together in their posh home, the Inspector calls upon them.  In what ensues as a type of medieval game of Clue, each family member is called to task for their role in the suicidal death of a young woman named Eva Smith.  One by one, each family member is questioned, and it is revealed that each person present has contributed in some way to Eva's sad and untimely demise.  Eva had previously worked in Arthur Birling's mill and was fired for her involvement in an abortive workers' strike.  Sheila Birling had contrived to have Eva fired from her job in a local department store over an imagined slight. Gerald, Sheila’s fiancé, had met Eva while she was using the alias, Daisy Renton. After helping her out financially, he began a sordid affair with her and then ended it abruptly, leaving her heartbroken. This news does not go over well with his fiancé, Sheila.  Sybil Birling, the head of a local women’s charity, had turned the destitute Eva away when she came seeking help.  And, finally, Eric Birling’s clandestine affair with the girl is exposed.   After reminding the Birlings that all actions have consequences and that all people in a society are intertwined, Inspector Goole warns the family, "We don't live alone.  We are members of one body.  We are responsible for each other.  And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn from that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish."  An allusion to the impending war.
Director, Sandy Assarian, invites you to take this journey and explore the unseen.  She views the play as a representation of the wanton disregard for our fellow man and, perhaps, a fundamental reason for the discontent that leads to conflict in our society.  "Man has behaved this way since the beginning of time.  Nothing new.  He will probably continue this way until the end of time."  The surrealistic works of art on stage are variations of Rene Magritte's, Son of Man. "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see.  There is an interest in what is hidden and which the invisible doesn't show us." Rene Magritte 1898-1967.  She uses Freya’s Golden Tears by Gustav Klimpt to represent the dead girl, Eva.  Assarian further suggests that the Birlings appear, at first, to be innocent people who are gathered together to celebrate a typical family event.  They appear to be civic minded, successful and well off.  However, the play exposes another side of them, the side that lives isolated in their own black and white "box" where they care only for themselves and their selfish wants and desires, blind to how their actions affect others and the world around them.
As always, talented local artists abound and never disappoint at 4th Street Theater.  Cast members are Janet Flood-Cole of Minneapolis as Sybil Birling, Dean Johanson of Griffith as Arthur Birling, Thomas Olsen of Valparaiso as Edward the Butler, Larry Piotrowski of Hanna as Inspector Goole, Emmie Reigel of Chesterton as Sheila Birling, George Romero of Valparaiso as Gerald Croft, Joe Synakiewicz of Dyer as Eric Birling.
The show is directed and designed by Sandra Assarian of Chesterton with lighting and sound design by Angela Heid of Kingsford Heights and costumed by Stanlee Hodsden of Valparaiso.  Denise Barkow of Chesterton is Stage Manager and assistant to the director.  Sandra credits the amazing production team at 4th Street Theater who are David Pifko, Kevin Doler, Kathy Markwart, Laura Blythe, Suzi Chomel, Linda Pauli, Jude Tanter, Laura Sullivan and Mark McColley.  “They make the magic happen.”

Performances are June 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, and 19.  Sunday performances are at 3:00 pm.  All others are at 8:00 pm. 4th Street Theater is located at 125 N. 4th Street Chesterton.  For reservations call (219) 926-7875 or reserve online at https://4thstreetncca.com/tickets/
At the table from L to R:  Joe Synakiewicz (Eric Birling), Tom Olsen (Edward the Butler), Dean Johanson (Arthur Birling), Emmie Reigel (Sheila Birling), George Romero (Gerald Croft), Janet Flood-Cole (Sybil Birling)
Dean Johnson (Arthur Birling) is questioned by Larry Piotrowski (Inspector Goole)

2021 10-Minute-Play Festival

Thanks to all of the folks who came out to auditions for the Ten-Minute Play Festival at 4th Street Theater. We had old friends and new friends come and it was fantastic. Here is the list of plays, directors, and casts for this year!

1. REMEMBERED by John Mabey

Director: Jill Watterson
Cast: Doris - Laura Blythe
Peter - Michael Thomas

2. FINDING HELP by Marj O'Neill - Butler

Director - Lisa Formosa-Parmigiano
Cast: Evelyn - Marcia Gienapp
Daphne - Sarah Wermuth
Michael - Nathan O'Brien

3. SECOND STORY JOBS by Fred Tacon

Director - Peggy Glennie
Cast: Huey - Dean Johanson
Tooth Fairy - Linda Lemond


Director - Larry Piotrowski
Cast: He - Jerry Golvidis
She - Margie Calhoon

5. MINOR DEVIATIONS by Erin Osgood

Director - Kate Ryan
Cast: Townsend - Jason Horn
McNally - Roy Siebert
A298, A452. A671. Maeve - Laura Blythe

6. CLOSING DOORS by John Minigan

Director - Amy Stepanek-Briseno
Cast: Valerie - Kristina Hanna
Sandra - Jena Bellezza

7. GRAM SCAMS by Cary Pepper

Director - Tony Thomas
Cast:: Grandma - Laura Sullivan
"Michael" - Brian Brophy
Michael - Michael Thomas

8. POETRY, PROSE, AND...PIRATES! by Ken Preuss

Director - George Maslankowski
Cast: Vern - Joe Culley
Shelley - Kerry Margus Fitch
Theo - Jason Horn
Peg - Maggie Reister
Chad - Dean Johanson
It is going to be a fun festival and we hope to see you in the audience in November! More info coming soon!

COVID Policy as of August 2021

COVID Policy as of August 2021


4th Street Theater has decided to announce we will continue the following COVID policy due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.  We want to continue to provide live theater and ensure the safety of our patrons and our volunteers.

The following policies will remain in place until further notice. 4th Street Theater will continue to monitor COVID recommendations from the health department and CDC, and we will revise the guidelines as required.


Our board has decided to voluntarily reduce our seating capacity to 2/3 capacity.  This will allow us to increase the spacing between the rows as well as between the audience and the stage.

Note as of October 2021 - we have increased our seating capacity to 50 seats.



Due to our small space, we require all patrons to wear a mask inside the theater regardless of their vaccination status.  We also ask that you please do not come if you have been sick within the last 24 hours.


Volunteers – Including Performers, Crew, Board & Other Volunteers

All volunteers are required to be fully vaccinated if they are over the age of 12.  Vaccination exemptions will be considered when a doctor has recommended against it for medical reasons.

Performers will not wear a mask while performing.

If a volunteer tests positive for COVID or is required to quarantine, they are required to immediately alert the theatre so that contact tracing may be conducted.  These alerts should go to Linda Pauli.  4th Street Theater contact tracing will require all exposed volunteers and/or staff to be tested. If additional positive tests are discovered, then appropriate measures will be taken to ensure the safety of all.



Over the summer we had our carpets, chairs, and ductwork professionally cleaned.

We have also installed a UV filter in our HVAC system to continuously clean the air.  We will also use a disinfecting fogger between performances.

Thank you from the board of 4th Street Theater.  Please stay healthy.

2021 Reopening Plan

2021 Reopening Plan Announced


Our board has been hard at work sprucing up the theater as well as determine when is a safe time to reopen.

We are happy to announce some of the initial details of our plan to reopen the theatre.

·         Grand Reopening & 20th Anniversary Celebration – August 20-22, 2021

·         Art – this show had to be canceled.  We will be announcing some other events in it's place.

·         Red Kite on October 16th – We will be bringing Chicago Children’s Theatre to perform Red Kite for one day only.  Registration is required for this event.  Please go to https://4thstreetncca.com/red-kite to learn more

·         10 Minute Play Festival – we will present the plays selected in 2020 during November 5-14, 2021. Please visit https://4thstreetncca.com/6x10/ for more information on the festival including the selected plays.

·         Grant Fitch will be back with his one-man version of A Christmas Carol on November 27th

·         The Importance of Being Earnest will be in March 2022.

·         We are working on bringing you some other special events including a Halloween Event and some Improv.


Please note, that due to the changing nature of COVID we may have to change some dates.  We will announce closer to the performances what the COVID restrictions/precautions will be.  We are currently working on deep cleaning the theatre and will be installing a UV light to filter the air in the heating and cooling system.

We will also release a call for directors for the 10-minute play festival later this summer.

The auditions for the 10-minute Play Festival and The Importance of Being Earnest will be announced at a later date.

Please join our mailing list (http://eepurl.com/3fv91) or follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/4thstreettheater) to catch the latest updates.

Thank you to all our supporters who helped us thru this difficult time.  We cannot wait to see everyone in the theater again.
Again, we will be releasing more details, including exact dates for Art & the 10 Minute Play Festival at a later date.

2020 Update

Thank you to the many generous supporters and donors this year. While we had to cancel most of this year's shows due to COVID-19, we are looking at re-opening sometime in 2021. The exact details have not been worked out yet of when we will re-open. We look forward to seeing our generous supporters, patrons, and volunteers in the hopefully near future. Stay safe and healthy.


To be updated when we do make the announcement on our schedule, please either follow our Facebook page or join our email list - please visit: https://mailchi.mp/e0698bb2396c/email-list

COVID 19 Update



DATE:  March 17, 2020

FROM:  Sandra Assarian, Producer, 4th Street Theater




Due to the coronavirus outbreak and in the interest of health and safety for our community, staff and performers, all remaining performances of the play ART are canceled.  The show was scheduled to run through March 29th.  This splendid piece of work will be remounted in March of 2021 per the suggestion of many who were able to attend performances the first weekend.

Unfortunately, this cancellation will mean a loss of over $4000 for the theater, as well as potential losses for the upcoming show Closer Than Ever in June.  Since shows provide a substantial amount of operating revenue, these losses will be adversely felt.  The theater, a not for profit 501c3, depends on many avenues of funding, including donations and sponsorships.  All staff and performers are volunteers; however, the budget for the theater is still in excess of $60,000 annually.  This includes production costs and overhead expenses.  Substantially all equipment is purchased with grant funds from local benefactors.  All board members are charged with ongoing fundraising efforts in order for the theater to break even each year.

The coming months will undoubtedly be challenging for all arts organizations that rely on both community donations and audience attendance. During the Covid-19 pandemic and the accompanying financial downturn, neither will be in ample supply.  If you are able, 4th Street Theater appeals to members of the community for any amount of financial support they can provide.  Additionally, any person or business that would be willing to sponsor a show or make a donation, should contact the theater by phone at (219) 926-7875 or in writing to 4th Street Theater, P.O. Box 2281, Chesterton, IN 46304.  (Please do not mail to the street address).  In the meantime, stay safe, remain hopeful, and be kind to each other.  Together, our community can and will ride out this storm.


Art Cast List Announced

Thank you to everyone who auditioned.  Our cast list is:


Serge - Alexander Bonner

Yvon - Grant Fitch

Marc - Dean Perrine


a play, written by Yasmina Reza

Translated by Christopher Hampton

Directed by Stanlee Hodsden


Performances - March 13. 14, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28 & 29, 2019

Sundays performances at 3:00 pm, all other nights at 8:00


How much would you pay for a white painting? Would it matter who the painter was? Would it be art? One of Marc's best friends, Serge, has just bought a very expensive painting. It's about five feet by four, all white with white diagonal lines. To Marc, the painting is a joke, but Serge insists Marc doesn't have the proper standard to judge the work. Another friend, Ivan, though burdened by his own problems, allows himself to be pulled into this disagreement. Eager to please, Ivan tells Serge he likes the painting. Lines are drawn and these old friends square off over the canvas, using it as an excuse to relentlessly batter one another over various failures. As their arguments become less theoretical and more personal, they border on destroying their friendships. At the breaking point, Serge hands Marc a felt tip pen and dares him: "Go on." This is where the friendship is finally tested, and the aftermath of action and its reaction affirms the power of those bonds.
Winner of the 1998 Tony Award for Best Play. Winner of the 1996 Olivier Award for Best Comedy. "…wildly funny, naughtily provocative…" —NY Post. "…a nonstop cross-fire of crackling language, serious issues of life and art expressed in outbursts that sound like Don Rickles with a degree from the Sorbonne…Reza is a fiendishly clever writer…'ART' sounds like a marriage of Molière and Woody Allen…" —Newsweek. "Anyone looking for a play that is funny, sophisticated, stylish, stimulating and moving should go to 'ART'." —Independent (London). "That such a simple plot can throw up such profound and meaty ideas about the rules that dictate art and friendship is a real treat. Reza and Hampton have an acute ear for the idiocies, trivia and petty assaults that pepper the conversation between friends…The real pleasures come from Reza's creation of three beautifully defined, original characters…" —The Mail (London). "In October I called it a minor classic. Let's change that to classic comedy, period." —London Times.
Produced with special arrangements with Dramatist Play Service

Outside Mullingar Opens

NOVEMBER 3, 2019


FROM:  4th Street Theater, Sandy Assarian, 219-929-5533


RE:      Press Release





(a romantic comedy)


4th Street Theater presents John Patrick Shanley’s play, Outside Mullingar, Friday November 8th through Sunday November 24th.


John Patrick Shanley (born October 13, 1950) is an American playwright, screenwriter, and director. His play, Doubt: A Parable, won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2005 Tony Award for Best Play. He won the 1988 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his film Moonstruck.  The play is set in the Midlands of Ireland, and involves two farmers, Anthony and Rosemary, who live next to each other. Rosemary has been romantically interested in Anthony for all of her life. Anthony, however, is shy, and is unaware of Rosemary's feelings. Anthony does not like farming and his father plans to leave the farm to a nephew.  With Anthony’s father threatening to disinherit him and a land feud simmering between their families, Rosemary has every reason to fear romantic catastrophe. But then, in this very Irish story with a surprising depth of poetic passion, these yearning, eccentric souls fight their way towards solid ground and some kind of happiness. Their journey is heartbreaking, funny as hell, and ultimately deeply moving. OUTSIDE MULLINGAR is a compassionate, delightful work about how it’s never too late to take a chance on love.

"Mr. Shanley's finest work since DOUBT…a softhearted comedy freckled with dark reflections on the unsatisfactory nature of life and the thorns of love." —NY Times. "

…”Mr. Shanley is telling a tale of inhibition overcome by love, but he's translated it (so to speak) from Italian to Gaelic, and the results are both charming and dramatically persuasive." —Wall Street Journal.

"OUTSIDE MULLINGAR is a valentine to the wonder and weirdness of love." —NY Daily News.

The 4th Street Theater cast includes Anne Nicholls of Crown Point as Rosemary, Kevin Mellen of Michigan City as Anthony, Donald Beck of Michigan City as Tony (Anthony’s father), and Maggie Reister Walters of Valparaiso as Aoife (Rosemary’s mother).  Linda Pauli of Chesterton directed the play, Kevin Doler also of Chesterton created the set, Angela Heid of Kingsford Heights designed the lighting and sound, and Barbara Baker Malangoni of Valparaiso designed the costumes.

Outside Mullingar opens on Friday, November 8th and runs through Sunday, November 24th at the 4th Street Theater, 125 N. Fourth Street in Chesterton.  November 8, 9, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 at 8:00 pm and November 17 and 24 at 3:00 pm.  Reservations can be made by calling the theater at 219-926-7875 or by www.brownpapertickets.com on line.  Outside Mullingar is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York, NY.



2019 NIETF Awards

Congrats to all the NIETF nominees and award winners for 2018-2019 Gala


2018-2019 Award Winners

Congratulations to all the award recipients at NIETF’s 27th Anniversary Gala! Thank you, everyone, for an amazing evening!


Principal Actress in a Musical: Sheree Gudeman as Francesca Johnson; Bridges of Madison County, 4th Street Theater

Featured Actress in a Musical: Tie

Holly Schroeder as Marge; Bridges of Madison County, 4th Street Theater

Caroline Herrera as Lita Encore; Ruthless, Hammond Community Theatre

Music Direction – Musical: Jeff Otto - Bridges of Madison County, 4th Street Theater

Vocal Direction – Musical: Linda Pauli - Bridges of Madison County, 4th Street Theater


Principal Actor in a Play: Donald Beck as Joe Keller; All My Sons, 4th Street Theater

Featured Actor in a Play: Donald Beck as Mrs. Bumbrake/Teacher; Peter and the Star Catcher, 4th Street Theater

Set Design – Play: Kevin Doler - All My Sons; 4th Street Theater

Lighting in a Play: Angela Heid & Dan Watt - Peter and the Star Catcher, 4th Street Theater

Sound Design in a Play: Angela Heid - Peter and the Star Catcher, 4th Street Theater

Costume Design in a Play: Stanlee Hodsden - Peter and the Star Catcher, 4th Street Theater

Director – Play: Steve Rohe - All My Sons; 4th Street Theater

Overall – Play: Peter and the Star Catcher, 4th Street Theater


Volunteer of the Year

4th Street Theater - Sarah Lackey


Full list of all award winners at: http://nietf.org/2018-2019-award-winners/


Cast List for 2019 10 Minute Play Festival

THE WAIT IS OVER!! Thanks to everyone who came out to audition for the Ten-Minute Play Festival at 4th Street Theater this week! You all made the decisions hard on the directors. Sadly, it was not possible to cast everyone for these shows Please come back again next year! Okay, here are the plays and their directors and casts in no particular order:



Director - Peggy Glennie


Morgan - Tom Olsen

Fenrick - Roy Siebert

Gwen - Laura Blythe

Priscilla - Jill Ritchie


GOODBYE ITZY-BITZY by Betty Robinson

Director - Laurie Reyna


Annie Mickey - Caroline Rau

Ben Mickey - Steve Rohe


FRAMEWORKS by Mike McGeever

Director - Christina Maria Biancardi


Marie - Kristin Duncan

Gabe - Mike Johnson


OFFICE HOURS by Bryan Harnetiaux

Director - Maggie Reister


Eleanor - Kerry Fitch

Nicole - Georgina Tyderek



Director - Earle Howe


Len - Wayne Puchkors

Lottie - Linda Lemond



Director - Donna Rowland


Todd - Patrick Nichols

Mary - Anne Nicholls

Jenna - Hilary Lynne Jordan


172 PUSH-UPS by Scott Mullen

Director - George Maslankowski


Quinn - Bridget Null

Tom - Jerry Golvidis

Jenny - Ashleigh Happer


ABOUT TIME by Robin Baron

Director - Sandy Owens


Jim - Dean Johanson

Diane - Margie Calhoon


CONGRATULATIONS to all of you!!!!