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"The Price of Progress" on 'The Avenue'

Play examines IUPUI's Indiana Avenue expansion
Posted at 11:45 AM, Nov 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 12:26:10-04

INDIANAPOLIS — To say the relationship between IUPUI and Indiana Avenue is complicated is akin to saying Michigan and Ohio State football fans have a mild disagreement every November. This weekend, that relationship is coming full circle, as a play examining the history of the two downtown institutions brings a legendary stage back to life.

"The Price of Progress" is based on a book of the same name. The play has been performed in the past, but writer and producer Vernon Williams and director McKenya Dilworth are promising and bigger and bolder performance this week when the play becomes the first to be performed on the historic Walker Theatre stage since its multi-million dollar renovation was completed.

Price of Progress Play

As implied by the title, the production deals with what is still a touchy subject for people who still live on 'The Avenue' and for those with connections to its storied past. "You know, when we talk about 'the G word' — gentrification — that's something that is definitely in the national conversation and agenda," said Dilworth. "This particular play is something that puts all of these discussions at the forefront, and it's encapsulated in its title."

“The Price of Progress” is a two-act stage play originally produced to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of IUPUI in 2019. It was conceived by IUPUI Multicultural Center Director Khalilah Shabazz and written by Williams, who is the Communication and Community Engagement Strategist for IUPUI.

The official name of the theater is now the Madam Walker Legacy Center. You can see "The Price of Progress" this Thursday through Saturday, November 4-6, at 7:00 pm each night. Tickets are available HERE.