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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)

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!!!!

2019-2020 Season

We are pleased to announce our 2019-2020 Season


Outside Mullingar

by John Patrick Shanley

Produced with special arrangements with Dramatist Play Service

Performances: November 8 -24, 2019

Anthony and Rosemary are two introverted misfits straddling 40. Anthony has spent his entire life on a cattle farm in rural Ireland, a state of affairs that—due to his painful shyness—suits him well. Rosemary lives right next door, determined to have him, watching the years slip away. 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.



Written by Yasmina Reza

Translated by Christopher Hampton

Produced with special arrangements with Dramatist Play Service

Performances: March 13-29, 2020

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.


Closer than Ever

Music by David Shire

Lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr

Produced with special arrangements with Musical Theatre International

Performances: June 19 - July 5, 2020

A look into the private song vault of Richard Maltby, Jr., and David Shire (BigStarting Here, Starting NowBaby), the review, Maltby and Shire's Closer Than Ever, is filled to the brim with the brilliance for which these musical theatre giants are known.

Closer Than Ever is a nonstop exploration of everyday struggles in the "modern world." Topics ranging from unrequited adoration... to aging... to Muzak are tackled with resounding sincerity and precisely placed hilarity. Each song is a unique story told by a new character, taking audiences, not only into the songbook of Mr. Maltby and Mr. Shire, but into the minds of the individuals facing these completely relatable challenges.


7th Annual 10 Minute Play Festival

Performances: August 21 - 30, 2020

A series of 10 Minute Plays.  Watch our website or facebook page for submission dates, instructions and other details on the festival.


The Importance of Being Earnest

by Oscar Wilde

Produced with special arrangements with Dramatist Play Service

Performances November 6-22, 2020

This is a classic comedy of manners in which two flippant young men, in order to impress their respected beloveds, pretend that their names are "Ernest", which both young ladies believe confers magical qualities on the possessor.  First performed on February 14, 1895 at the St Jame's Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personae to escape burdensome social obligations.  A satire of Victorian social hypocrisy, The Importance of Being Earnest is considered Oscar Wilde's greatest dramatic achievement.  Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make it Wilde's most enduringly popular play.


Special Events

We will have several special events throughout the year.  Watch our website and facebook for these announcements!


Audition once announced will be posted at Auditions page and on our facebook page.