Bloomington deputy mayor to co-star in ‘Mass Appeal’ play this weekend

Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014 4:30 pm | Updated: 11:02 pm, Thu Aug 21, 2014.

By Kat Carlton 812-331-4351 | kcarlton@heraldt.com

When John Whikehart was chancellor at Ivy Tech Community College, he assured the Bloomington City Council that the college’s downtown arts center would help grow theater in the community.

Now, he’s deputy mayor of Bloomington and still keeping that promise.

But Whikehart is taking on a different role than usual — this time, he’s on stage.

He’ll play Father Tim Farley in the two-character production of “Mass Appeal” this weekend at the John Waldron Arts Center.

Since college, Whikehart has acted in only three productions.

But what he lacks in formal training, Whikehart makes up for in professional experience and instinct, according to play director Jeffery Allen.

“John has such deep experience in this community … of understanding what it means to have a conversation with somebody who maybe you don’t want to have a conversation with but you have to. And you have to be civil, and you have to be polite,” says Allen.

Allen says Whikehart and co-star Paul Daily (who has a long history of acting experience), fit perfectly into their characters — partly because of their natural energies.

Daily agrees.

“John is excellent at dealing with people and using humor to get everyone on the same page, and I often let my passions dictate my actions instead of logic,” he says.

Daily plays a firebrand deacon working to become a pastor, with Whikehart’s character as his mentor.

“There’s a natural give-and-take,” Daily says, noting his lifelong friendship with Whikehart.

Whikehart says as chancellor of Ivy Tech, he enticed Daily and Allen to work for the college and introduce Ivy Tech theater to the community.

“Having insisted they do that, I was stuck when they asked me if I would be in one of the productions,” Whikehart says. 

Whikehart says he’s enjoyed being a part of the production, even after suffering a sore throat following Thursday morning’s rehearsal. (He and Daily had to speak over jackhammers from construction outside of the arts center on Fourth Street.)

If you go:

“Mass Appeal” opens Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the John Waldron Arts Center in Bloomington. There will be another performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

 Tickets are available at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in advance to the general public for $15 and students and seniors for $5.

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John Whikehart co-stars in the 1980s play “Mass Appeal” as Tim Farley, a Roman Catholic pastor who mentors Mark Dolson (played by Paul Daily). Kat Carlton | Herald-Times

 

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Paul Daily co-stars in “Mass Appeal” as the role of firebrand deacon Mark Dolson. Dolson’s passionate sermons are well-intentioned but offend some of the crowd at the parish he preaches at under the wing of Tim Farley (played by John Whikehart). Kat Carlton | Herald-Times

 

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John Whikehart co-stars in the 1980s play “Mass Appeal” as Tim Farley, a Roman Catholic pastor who mentors Mark Dolson (played by Paul Daily). Kat Carlton | Herald-Times

 

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Paul Daily co-stars in “Mass Appeal” as the role of firebrand deacon Mark Dolson. Dolson’s passionate sermons are well-intentioned but offend some of the crowd at the parish he preaches at under the wing of Tim Farley (played by John Whikehart). Kat Carlton | Herald-Times

 

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