Just reprinting the release FYI.

Very excited about this development.



Former producing director of the Phoenix Theatre, Bryan Fonseca announces plans to start a new professional company in Indianapolis. The River West Theater Company will be located on the city’s near westside. Having received a ground breaking Transformational Impact grant from the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the Lilly Endowment, Fonseca spent two years working in the neighborhoods of Haughville, Hawthorne, Stringtown and We Care. The goal was to improve quality of life through arts projects and planting artists at the table for future planning when it comes to housing and business development of the area. “The grant allowed me to plant seeds, this new theater will give the community another center to nourish the original project.”Image result for bryan fonseca


The new theater will give voice to the Latinx, African American, Middle Eastern and Asian communities as a starting point. Much is being written nationally and our Indianapolis theater companies have only dedicated a small percentage of programming to this work. River West Theater will reverse these percentages and increase employment and educational opportunities for minority actors.

The sharing of culture is essential to our nation’s health and this theater will focus on work “about and/or byminority artists to bring together the city’s growing minority communities. “In just 20 years, minorities will be the majority and it’s time for us to understand each other now to work together later. Minorities are already the majority voting bloc in some cities and I’m getting back to artistic basics – work to inform, educate and unite. We will have civic programs as well.” said Fonseca.  “I’m cooking up a cultural and political stew” which will create opportunities for the city’s artists of color”


Most non-profits all have “outreach programs.” This typically includes programs in the institution where discount tickets are provided to underserved communities. A few actually develop programs which go into these communities with programs but home base is still located elsewhere. This new concept of “InReach” puts the artists into the fabric of life in the community itself. I chose the near west side for its diversity of cultures.  It’s equally populated by Latino, African American and Caucasian cultures. River West Theater will be involved in civic projects as well as theater. “Throughout my grant period, I learned much about community involvement from Robert Negron of Indy Convergence. “Their work is a national model of InReach and we will join forces and double the number of community projects.”


About Indy Convergence

Indy Convergence is an international artist residency program focused on interdisciplinary collaboration and the intersection of arts in community. IC serves the Near West neighborhoods of Indianapolis and maintains programs internationally in Jacmel, Haiti and London, Ontario. Cultivating the talent that already exists on a local level and facilitating residency programs to bring in new perspectives, Indy Convergence works to both stimulate and amplify community voices.

“Indy Convergence is thrilled to partner with Bryan Fonseca on his newest endeavor. We feel this collaboration will complement our common goals and be an exciting new asset in the Near West.” said Producing Artistic Director. Robert Negron. “We’re looking forward to working with Bryan as we both continue to lift up community voices and highlight local artistic talent in unique and inspiring ways.”


First Production

River West Theater Company will stage its first production at Indy Convergence in September. A season of 4 shows will be announced shortly. IC Managing Executive Director, Caitlin Negron added “we’re thrilled to host the inaugural production of this exciting new company.”



For Fonseca, it’s also back to basics financially. “I know what it’s like to operate on a shoe string. In truth, all theaters (and most nonprofits) operate on a shoestring only in some cases the shoes are bigger. It’s all perspective. We can do big, important work in a small space.”  We will build a small board of directors which

will be led by Frank Basile. “I supported Bryan during his 35 years at the Phoenix Theatre and am excited to continue that support with River West” said Frank Basile, newly appointed board chairman. “With his generous lead gift, we can begin our theater project. His planned gift will ensure its future” said Fonseca.


Currently, Fonseca is conducting meetings with artists and the community, searching for new board members, volunteers and donors. Inquiries can be emailed to indypapi@yahoo.com or call 317-331-0089.