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UIndy alumni drive Phoenix Theatre production

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As the Department of Theatre opens its gender-reversed adaptation of The Odd Couple this weekend, several folks with UIndy ties will continue their work on stage and behind the scenes downtown in the Phoenix Theatre’s production of The Cripple of Inishmaan.

Deb Sargent
Deb Sargent, Class of 1980

The dark comedy by playwright Martin McDonagh is set on a tiny Irish island where the residents – most notably a disabled boy named Billy – are thrown into a tizzy by the arrival of a Hollywood film crew. The 1996 play recently completed successful revival runs on Broadway and in London’s West End with Daniel Radcliffe in the lead role.

In the local production, 1980 UIndy grad and founding Phoenix member Deb Sargent portrays Billy’s adoptive aunt Kate. Ryan O’Shea, a 2008 grad who teaches part-time in the Department of Theatre, is Helen, Billy’s love interest. O’Shea, director of sales and communication for the Phoenix, also is the production’s dialect coach, assisted by current UIndy Theatre major Cassie Cutshaw. Last but certainly not least, the stage manager is 2007 grad Amanda Gwin.

Performances of The Cripple of Inishmaan are scheduled Thursdays-Sundays through March 1. Tickets and more information are available at (317) 635-7529 or

OSheaUIndy Theatre grad and adjunct instructor Ryan O’Shea, left, is not only an actress and dialect coach but also director of sales and communication for the Phoenix Theatre. (Photos by Zach Rosing)