Cardinal Stage produces high-quality professional theater that engages audiences and strengthens the cultural, educational and economic vibrancy of South Central Indiana.
As a dynamic professional theater, Cardinal Stage is essential to the region for its creative, inspiring and affordable programming.
Cardinal Stage was established in 2006 by Founder and former Artistic Director Randy White and a dedicated board of directors. From the beginning, the goal has been to develop Cardinal Stage into a professional regional theatre company.
As a regional theatre, Cardinal Stage programs a range of material to compliment the diverse interests of Bloomington, Indiana and the surrounding region. Cardinal Stage shows are critically praised and popular with audiences throughout South-Central Indiana. Over the years, Cardinal Stage has grown into the largest arts organization in Bloomington, creating opportunities for dozens of actors, designers, and technical crew members each season.
- January 2006, Cardinal Stage launches with a celebrated production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.
- Cardinal Stage’s production of Vaclav Havel’s The Unveiling receives rave reviews when it travels to New York City in the fall of 2006.
- Cardinal Stage launches its first full season of five plays in 2008-2009 with The Diary of Anne Frank, produced in partnership with Indiana University’s Jewish Studies program. Playwright Wendy Kesselman and David Barnouw from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam host post-show talkbacks at the Ivy Tech Waldron Auditorium.
- In September 2009, the company inaugurates a partnership with Indiana University’s College of Arts and Science’s Themester Initiative with a production of Inherit The Wind. Other Themester productions include The Grapes of Wrath (Sustainability), All My Sons (War and Peace) and To Kill a Mockingbird (Good Behavior, Bad Behavior).
- In 2009, Cardinal Stage introduces its Community Ticket Initiative, designed to facilitate access to theatre for all members of our community, regardless of their ability to pay. In first three years, over 3000 kids and family members see shows like The Diary of Anne Frank, The Grapes of Wrath, A Year with Frog and Toad and Go, Dog. Go! at absolutely no charge.
- In the summer of 2010, Cardinal Stage launches its Cardinal for Kids series, professionally produced shows for 3-10-year-olds.
- In the fall of 2010, Cardinal Stage secures its new administrative/rehearsal/shop building at 900 S Walnut St.
- Following an acclaimed Bloomington run, Cardinal Stage’s 2010 production of Souvenir is a great success when it travels to Sanibel Island, Florida.
- In May 2012, Cardinal for Schools is instituted in an effort to reduce the cost of student matinees. The first-year goal is to bring 3000 students to shows across the season at up to 80% off regular prices.
- In May 2013, Cardinal Stage introduces the Indiana University Credit Union Education Initiative with a goal of raising $125,000 and impacting the lives of 10,000+ local students in the 2013-2014 season.
- In October 2015, Cardinal Stage launched the school tour of Peabody, or the Science Fair Affair to 25 schools in over eight South-Central Indiana counties, reaching over 9000 students.
- In December 2015, Cardinal Stage produces Mary Poppins, which smashes box office records as the most attended Family Holiday Musical.
- In November 2017, Cardinal Stage hires Kate Galvin as its first successor to its founding artistic director.
- In October 2018, Cardinal Stage becomes one of four new organizations to receive the National Theatre Company Grant from the American Theatre Wing, marking Cardinal’s first major national award and recognition.
- In May 2020, Cardinal Stage announced the sale of its facilities at 900 S Walnut in order to seek a space more suitable to its current needs and 5-year strategic plan.