Topic: College of Fine Arts

September 19, 2016

Giselle Drake and Lincoln Clauss
Giselle Drake, junior musical theater major, joins Lincoln Clauss, senior musical theater major, as members of the cast of 'Parade.'

“Parade,” a heart-wrenching true story about a Brooklyn-based Jewish man wrongly convicted for a crime he didn’t commit, opens at Ball State University at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23 in University Theatre. The production also will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 and Sept. 27-Oct. 1, and 2:30 p.m. Sept. 25 and Oct. 2.

“‘Parade’ illuminates injustices, yellow journalism, and the power of a mob mentality when influenced by a strong personality,” said the show’s director, Beth Turcotte, the university’s George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Theatre. “Its music is beautiful and haunting, and I’ve loved having discussions with the cast about how the issues presented in the story are the same ones we’re facing today.”

The musical centers on Jewish Yankee Leo Frank, who in 1913 is accused of rape and murder of an employee at the factory he manages in Atlanta. Political ambitions, career aspirations, and local hysteria work against the outsider as the prosecutor weaves a story the locals believe, and the judge is quick to convict and sentence him. “Parade” is the true story of Frank and his wife, Lucille, who stood by his side and continued to work for his freedom while he remained in jail for two years.

“Parade” was first performed on Broadway in 1998 and won Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Original Score. Turcotte said the musical’s message about the dangerous legacy of ethnic profiling is as relevant now as it was then. “The names and faces have changed, but we as a nation still struggle with truth, justice, and respect.”

Joining Turcotte in leading Ball State’s production of “Parade” is Cameron Tragesser, musical direction, with choregraphy by Rebecca Pappas.

Tickets for “Parade” cost $18 for the general public and $15 for students, faculty, staff, and senior citizens. They are available from the University Theatre Box Office, open one hour before performances, and also from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact the box office at 765-285-8749 or visit for more information.