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The Indiana Repertory Theater opened its 39th season with “Holes.” Originally a young adult book by Louis Sacher, the story was turned into a movie in 2003. Now brought to life on IRT’s stage, audiences can see in the story of Stanley Yelnats unfold in person.

A teenage boy is wrongfully convicted of a crime and shipped off to a correctional camp in the middle of the Texas desert. There he meets an odd collection of misfits who spend each day digging holes in the desert.

The set is an impressive feat. It takes a particular talent to turn an intimate stage into an expansive desert filled with deep holes. It also has to accommodate a pick-up truck, couch and boat moving on and off during various scenes. Scenic Designer Robert M. Koharchik managed to design something that worked beautifully, giving the feeling of limitless space despite the restrictions.

Ben Tebbe and Jennifer Johansen, both regular IRT players, are wonderful as Stanley’s doting parents and in the many other roles they took on throughout the show, including Stanley’s grandfather and Kissin’ Kate Barlow. Newcomer Mauricio Suarez was also a delight as the soft-spoken Zero. He brought a quiet intensity to the role and I look forward to seeing him perform in future productions.

If there’s one show this season that would appeal to teenage boys, this is it. It has adventure, outlaws, stinky sneakers and treasure. And for boys, you can’t go wrong with that combination of elements.

Don't Miss the Show

Performances: The show runs until Saturday, Nov. 6 on IRT's Mainstage. Times for performances can be found at or by calling the IRT box office at (317) 635-5252.

Tickets: To purchase tickets call (317) 635-5252 or order online at Prices begin at $29 with discounts available for students.

The IRT’s 2010/11 season has a great balance of old favorites, like The Diary of Anne Frank, and new shows that look fascinating. Below is a complete list and you can visit for more information about each show.

Mary’s Wedding
Nov. 3 – Dec. 4

The Diary of Anne Frank
Jan. 18 – Feb. 24

A Christmas Carol
Nov. 26 – Dec. 26

Going Solo: A festival of intimate stories brought to life by three actors, three scripts, three shows in repertory.
• Neat
Feb. 10 – Mar. 6
• Fire in the Garden
Feb. 12 – 27
• In Acting Shakespeare
Feb. 19 – Mar. 13

The Gospel According to James
Mar. 22 – Apr. 10

The 39 Steps, Alfred Hitchcock
Apr. 20 – May 14

Photos Courtesy of the IRT