2022 Top Ten Performing Arts Luminaries

December 29, 2022

Top row L-R Marcia Eppich Harris, Janna Hymes, Michael Johnson, Norm Lasiter and Jared McElroy. Bottom row L-R Alyona Yakovleva-Randall, Richard J. Roberts, Casey Ross, Chris Saunders and Jonathan Studdard

Prior to starting this column, I covered the performing arts for Examiner.com, which ended operations in 2016. While writing for that website for eight years, I published an annual top-ten list, naming those whom I considered the most “Compelling” performing arts figures in central Indiana. Once I started my own site, and for no particular reason, I ceased compiling my list. However, remembering how popular it was and conscious of expanding my readership, I have decided to bring the list back.

More importantly, if I can advance my mission to shine a spotlight on local performing arts organizations and artists, I am determined to do so. In that spirit, I present the following list, in alphabetical order, of individual performing arts figures whom I regard as the most creative, innovative, and impactful artists and arts administrators of 2022.

1.  Marcia Eppich-Harris – Founder and Artistic Director, Southbank Theatre Company

2,  Janna Hymes – Artistic Director & conductor, Carmel Symphony Orchestra

3,  Michael J. Johnson – Founding Artistic Director, Kids Dance Outreach

4,  Norman Lasiter– Cabaret performer & star of “Gray Pride” at the IndyFringe Theatre Festival

5   Jared McElroy – Assistant Artistic Director and vocalist, the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus

6.  Alyona Yakovleva-Randall – Artistic Director, Indiana Ballet Conservatory

7.  Richard J. Roberts – Director of “Violet,” Actors Theatre of Indiana

8.  Casey Ross – Co-founder and Artistic Director, Catalyst Repertory

9.   Chris Saunders – Founder and Artistic Director, American Lives Theatre

10.  Jonathan Studdard – Actor-singer-dancer, who starred as Lola in “Kinky Boots” at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre





photo: Josh Humble

About Tom

Journalist, producer, director, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, arts administrator, TV contributor, actor, model, writer and lyricist, Tom Alvarez has had an extensive career in media and the fine arts and continues to be an enthusiastic and devoted fan of both. His passion and unique background grant him insight, access and perspective to cover, promote and review the arts in Indianapolis, Central Indiana and beyond. Follow him on social media @tomalvarezartswriter and @tomalvarez1.

Alvarez has been writing about theatre, dance, music, cinema and visual arts for 40 years. His work has appeared in the Indianapolis Star, NUVO, Indianapolis Monthly, Arts Indiana, Unite Magazine, Dance Magazine, NOTE Magazine, and Examiner.com, among many other print and online platforms. A former contributor to Across Indiana on WFYI-TV, he currently has a regular performing arts segment on WISH-TV’s Life. Style. Live!

A principal of Klein & Alvarez Productions, LLC, Alvarez co-created “Calder, The Musical” and is the managing director of Magic Thread Cabaret. As an actor-model, he has appeared in numerous TV and print ads and is represented by the Helen Wells Agency and Heyman Talent Artists Agency.

On the Aisle Team

  • Creation, content, and publishing: Tom Alvarez
  • Graphic design:- Casey Ross
  • Web development: Clay Mabbitt

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