NIETF Presents “Theatrepalooza” Free Theatre Festival

theatrepaloozaAre you ready to be entertained? Do you need a good laugh or a moment to ponder? The region will shine with the glow of the spotlight as you sit back, laugh, and awe at the amazing talents of local actors during the inaugural “Theatrepalooza” Sunday, August 17 from 3-5 p.m in the Reinhart Auditorium of Merrillville High School, 276 E 68th Pl, Merrillville.

For more than two decades, the Northwest Indiana Excellence in Theatre Foundation (NIETF) has been recognizing excellence in community theatre in Northwest Indiana. Now, they wish to invite the community to learn more about theatre throughout the region. Taking a page from music festivals which offer a sampling of a variety of bands, “Theatrepalooza” will offer a sampling of a variety of theatrical offerings from different community theatres located throughout Northwest Indiana. Each theatre will offer a 10-15 minute excerpt from a recent or upcoming production for the public to enjoy. Shows to be highlighted range from musicals such as “Spamalot,” “The Pajama Game” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” to well-known plays such as “Steel Magnolias” and lesser-known one-act plays.

“On any given weekend, patrons needn’t make the trek to Chicago to find great live theater,” said NIETF President Becky Jascoviak. “Just down the street in the center of town you’ll find thriving community theaters, open stage performance opportunities and a plethora of arts-inspired offerings throughout the region. A short drive to neighboring communities brings you even more opportunities! Our goal with this festival is to show the public some of the great talent and fun productions they can take in right in their own backyard.”

In the lobby during the festival, patrons will find booths from each of the theatres with information on their upcoming shows, classes, auditions, and volunteer opportunities. Audience members will have a chance to win some great door prizes as well!

“Theatrepalooza” is a free event, made possible through a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission, South Shore Arts and the generous partnership of Ideas in Motion Media. While the”Theatrepalooza” show is free, reservations are highly recommended. Tickets to the festival are available online at An “After-Palooza” party will also be held at Catch-22 Restaurant on US 30, featuring a 2 Martini/1 Appetizer special for $15. No reservations are required for the party – just bring friends to mingle and to meet with the actors, directors, and representatives from various theatres.

“It is [NIETF’s] hope that this festival is both fun and informative,” said Jascoviak. “We want to connect even more with the community. We’re all volunteers in community theatre. Join us! Get out! Get on stage! Be an audience member! Enjoy the arts!”

About NIETF: The Northwest Indiana Excellence in Theatre Foundation (NIETF) is an organization of community theatres from Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties in Indiana. The mission of NIETF is to stimulate excellence in theatre arts in Northwest Indiana through innovative marketing, partnership resourcing, member recognition, and community development. NIETF accomplishes this throughout the year in many ways – an annual gala and awards, an informational website, programs inserts at every show for every member theatre, the DJ & Rose Nidetz Scholarship and Project CAST – project money for a member theatre. For more information on NIETF, its programs, and its member theatres, visit