A new amphitheater at Riverside Park will host its first performances this week as the Thomas Taggart Memorial restoration celebrates completion.
The large limestone memorial was named after Indianapolis Mayor Thomas Taggart who founded Riverside Park in the early 1900s. It sat crumbling for years but a $9 million grant from the Lilly Endowment has given it new life.
The restored space is the new home for Indy Shakes and performances of "A Mid Summer Night's Dream" will be held this week. Indy Parks Assistant Manager Sam Osborn said the structure inspires creativity.
“It’s a really interesting opportunity for performers to incorporate the monument itself into the performance,” Osborn said.
The outdoor amphitheater will host a diverse lineup of local performances in partnership with cultural startup GANGGANG, and next year the performance space should be open for community rental.
Osborn said the theater has state of the art sound and lighting and could be used for a wide variety of shows.
“It could host literally any sort of performing arts,” Osborn said.
The restoration has been five years in the making and was envisioned as part of Indy Parks master plan for Riverside Park.
Indy Parks worked with Indiana Landmarks, The Parks Alliance and long invested community members known as the Taggart Task Force to restore the historic monument.
A grand opening celebration performance will be held next month.