Artists’ Ensemble stages ‘Indian Blood’ Dec. 2-18

Susan Gosdick (from left), Michael Palmenderi and Stephen F. Vrtol in Indian Blood at Artists’ Ensemble Theater. (Photo by John Cobb)

Staff Report

Rockford’s Artists’ Ensemble (AE) Theater will present A.R. Gurney’s Indian Blood Dec. 2-18.

The nostalgic holiday comedy will be staged in Rockford College’s Clark Arts Center at 7:30 p.m., Thursdays; 8 p.m., Fridays; 4 and 8 p.m., Saturdays; and 2 p.m., Sundays.

Thursday tickets are $19; all other performances are $28, $26 for seniors, and $10 for students.

Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (815) 904-2277.

AE is an Equity professional theater performing in residence at Rockford College.

It is 1946 in Buffalo, N.Y., and 16-year-old Eddie is in big trouble. Right before the start of the holiday break, he was suspended from school — for a very embarrassing reason. But, it’s not his fault! It’s his heritage: “I’ve got Indian blood in me. It explains a lot of my disruptive behavior. Deep inside, I harbor a profound grudge against the customs of the white man.”

Indian Blood is a delightful memory play by acclaimed playwright A.R Gurney. The New York Times hailed it as “a wistfully nostalgic snow globe for the stage.”

Michael Palmenderi plays Eddie, with Stephen F. Vrtol III as his father, Harvey, and Chicago actress Susan Gosdick plays his mother, Jane.

The annual family gathering is complicated when Eddie’s nemesis, his 15-year-old cousin Lambert, threatens to spill the beans about Eddie’s school trouble.

Rockford College senior Andrew Harth plays Lambert. Ensemble member Carolyn Cadigan does triple duty playing three different women in Eddie’s life. John Chase is Uncle Paul.

Chicago actor Jim McCance plays Grandfather and Ensemble member Jessica MacDonald plays Eddie’s fiercely proper grandmother, who calls the tune for the whole family.

From the Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2011, issue

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