Carmel Monthly Magazine-April 2022

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Dr. Tim Phares COLLECTIVE PUBLISHING PUBLICATION Carmel_2022April_Cover.indd 1

APRIL 2022

New CHS Principal Intends to Build Upon the School Traditions

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AND NOW THOUSANDS ARE SEEING IT HERE Dawn Pollard (303) 669-4425 Scot Pollard (317) 900-3500 Joe Kempler (317) 523-6405 1905 S. New Market St. Suite 165, Carmel, IN (office located in Village of West Clay)

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Dr. Tim Phares: New CHS Principal Intends to Build Upon the School Traditions Carmel Clay Schools (CCS) recently named Carmel resident Dr. Tim Phares as the next principal of Carmel High School (CHS) for the upcoming 2022–23 school year. We are pleased to feature Dr. Phares on this month’s cover and appreciate the time that he spent speaking with us about his career at CCS as well as the importance of improving the standards and carrying on the many time-honored traditions that make CHS the remarkable high school that it is. Cover Story Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photo // Laura Arick



Carmel Farmers Summer Market: Come Here, Grow Here


Feinstein’s Opens Its Stage to Live Music From Local Artists


Make Good Decisions Celebrates a Milestone Year and The Bling Pig Is Back in Person!


Civic Theatre Presents: ‘Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical’


Actors Theatre of Indiana Presents: ‘Working’


West Clay Realty on Navigating an Ongoing Challenging Market


PUBLISHER / Neil Lucas / 317-460-0803 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF / Neil Lucas / 317-460-0803 PUBLISHER / Lena Lucas / 317-501-0418 DIRECTOR OF SALES / Lena Lucas / 317-501-0418 HEAD WRITER / Janelle Morrison / 317-250-7298 Business Spotlight is sponsored content.

Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Program: Show Choir Competitions and the Spring Musical

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Come Here, Grow Here Carmel Farmers Summer Market:

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Jennifer Hersherger and submitted

The Carmel Farmers Markets (CFM) volunteer committee is pleased to announce opening day at the Carmel Farmers Summer Market to be held at Carter Green in Carmel, Indiana, on Saturday, May 7, 2022.


he Summer Market will be open every Saturday from May 7 through Sept. 24, 2022—8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Boasting more than 70 vendors, many of which are longtime vendors with the market, the CFM committee welcomes a

few new faces and products to this year’s lineup as well as some new “mini sponsorship” opportunities for local restaurants.

CALLING ALL LOCAL CHEFS! CFM President Ron Carter has been reaching out to the


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community’s restaurants with a new mini sponsorship program that is designed to increase brand awareness for not only the market and the restaurants but also for the market’s vendors and their fresh products as well. “We’re instituting a new


mini sponsorship for local restaurants,” Carter said. “We know that we have chefs from local restaurants coming to the market, so we’re going to encourage those chefs to be more visible at market, thus making their restaurants more visible and helping their restaurants be perceived as, and in actuality be, part of the local food chain and letting consumers know that our market provides the quality products that local gourmet chefs utilize.” For participating restaurants, Carter shared they will have a designated market wagon with their name, logo, etc., that the chefs can tote around while shopping at the market. If time permits, the chefs will be invited to be interviewed at the market over the PA system and asked what they bought and how they will incorporate the ingredients into their dishes. Carter added, “We think the mini sponsorships will lift our brand, the brands of the vendors and certainly the brands of the restaurants.”

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Look for “Chef Spotlights” throughout the market season!

FROM SEEDLING TO FULL BLOOM CFM Vice President Deborah Schmitz spoke about how the market serves as an incubator for small and start-up vendors. Many vendors have “outgrown” the market once they’ve gone national or have moved up the supply chain and into large fulfillment contracts. “One example is James Long with ‘LIVE Project,’” Schmitz said. “James produces a health drink line and has been approached by Target for distribution. Another example is the Baird family that owns/ operates Groomsville Popcorn. I can still remember Jacob—a mild-mannered gentleman— contacting us about selling

his popcorn at our market. This past winter, he had four booths at the Carmel Christkindlmarkt! They sold their pizza, chocolate, German candies and their popcorn and nuts. They have recently opened a restaurant/storefront in Tipton, Indiana, and

Jacob’s donuts are to die for!” Carter and Schmitz are eager to see how one of their new vendors, American Dream Nut Butters, does at the market this year. American Dream Nut Butters creates and sells an assortment of low-carb, high-protein, low-sugar nut butters. It is

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World Class Cabaret at Carmel City Center May 5

RICHARD GLAZIER Actors Theatre of Indiana is thrilled to welcome back home to Indiana award-winning pianist Richard Glazier as he presents From Broadway to Hollywood. An expert interpreter of the Great American Songbook, Glazier has both personal as well as professional connections to his music. Offering a rich context to the beautiful music of the Great American Songbook, which is at the core of many a Hollywood musical, Glazier’s program is sure to engage as well as educate viewers as then enjoy Glazier’s fine performances and personal stories.

May 19, 20, & 21 FIVE FOR FIGHTING

Singer-songwriter John Ondrasik has spent the past decade writing deeply personal songs that include social messages, invoke the human spirit and make an emotional connection. With the past six albums by Five for Fighting, the hockey moniker stage name under which he performs, Ondrasik has seen multitudes of successes. Five For Fighting’s breakthrough came in 2001 with the Grammy-nominated song “Superman,” and John’s performance at The Concert For New York. Ondrasik proceeded to become part of the American songbook with the iconic hit “100 Years,” “World,” “The Riddle,” “Chances,” and “What If.” John’s music has been featured in over 350 films, TV shows, and advertisements ranging from The Blind Side to The Sopranos. In 2018 John was the musical voice for the CBS hit show Code Black. John has also been deeply involved in supporting our troops. From USO tours, supporting several Veteran oriented charities, and distributing over a million “CD for the Troops” to servicemen and their families around the world.

For tickets go to or scan QR

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May 12

ADAM B. SHAPIRO Native Hoosier, Adam B. Shapiro left Indianapolis 18 years ago to chase his Broadway dreams in New York City. In recent years, he has appeared in the North American premiere of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish and as the cantor in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Now he returns to his beloved hometown with stories and songs galore about how the road you think you’re on isn’t always the one you expect. He’ll take you through the pitfalls and pratfalls of children’s theatre, cruise ship work, and close calls, before a leap of faith lands him a job with the National Yiddish Theater, which takes him farther than he ever would have dreamed.

June 7

ATI PRESENTS: OPEN MIC NIGHT! Do you love music and are looking for the right time and place to share your talents with the world? Actors Theatre of Indiana’s (ATI’s) open mic nights are the perfect no-judgement zone opportunity, a place where like-minded fans and artists can appreciate each other and the joy of making music! Now is YOUR chance to sing on the beautiful Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael stage! Actors Theatre of Indiana’s (ATI) co-founders Cynthia Collins, Don Farrell, and Judy Fitzgerald co-host the evening along with Brent Marty on the 88’s, as you choose your favorite Broadway, Hollywood, or song standards. No need to bring sheet music (but you can if you wish) as ATI will provide all their songbooks to choose your selections! All seats are only $15 to enjoy this special evening to make music together!

1 Carmichael Square, Carmel, IN

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Literally and Figuratively Opening Doors to Local Acts

Feinstein’s Opens Its Stage to Live Music From Local Artists Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Submitted

Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael is opening its doors and its stage to live music from local artists and invites you to come check it out! Enjoy the intimate nightclub environment that Feinstein’s boasts, signature drinks and live performances weekly.

“I’m excited to see it take off and am really looking forward to see how it develops,” Nichols expressed. “I’m scheduling single artists, duos and trios that have been reaching out to me on email to play in Feinstein’s. It gives these artists who’ve been wanting to play an opportunity to be on a great stage in a wonderful room, and it’s only a $12 cover at the door. If you’re a hotel guest, it’s free!” Nichols is working with her own industry contacts as well as with the organizers of Carmel’s PorchFest who have given Nichols their list of bands. Nichols added, “PorchFest has been very gracious to give me a list of acts that are on their roster, and it’s an opportunity for me to see people that I’ve never seen or met before. I’m hoping that by bringing in these different bands that have a following, they’ll bring their fans, and we can hit the younger demographic.” All of the upcoming acts will be listed on Feinstein at Hotel Carmichael’s website, but they will not be preticketed events like the Feinstein’s series shows

are. Since it is a “bar” situation, admission for these live shows is 21 and older.

ATI Presents: Open Mic Night! Actors Theatre of Indiana’s (ATI’s) open mic nights are the perfect no-judgement zone opportunity, a place where like-minded fans and artists can appreciate each other and the joy of making music! Now is your chance to sing on the beautiful Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael stage! Nichols shared with me that she is working with ATI on presenting these open mic nights four times this year. These will be ticketed events, general admission, with a $15 cover, but people can choose their seats. “We’re excited to bring this to Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael,” Nichols said. “Feinstein’s/54 Below does a Broadway sing-along series, so I’m really excited that ATI is helping us get something like that under our belt!” Check out for a list of all the incredible acts that are slated to perform at Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael and enjoy a nightlife again with your fellow live music enthusiasts!

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to contact 911—by phone call or text. The messages will show information about how Indiana’s Lifeline Law works.

MAKE GOOD DECISIONS Celebrates a Milestone Year and The Bling Pig Is Back in Person! Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Submitted

Indiana Youth Services Association’s (IYSA) special event, The Blind Pig Speakeasy Shindig, benefits the Make Good Decisions Initiative. Make Good Decisions educates teens and young adults about the dangers of underage drinking, drugs, destructive behaviors and the Indiana Lifeline Law.

Brett’s Story Continues to Save Lives


t’s been 10 years since Carmel residents Norm and Dawn Finbloom lost their beloved son, Brett, who passed away from alcohol poisoning just one week before he was to begin college classes in 2012. Since that tragic time, the Finblooms have been dedicated spokespersons for “Make Good Decisions.” They worked alongside former Sen. Jim Merritt, who expanded Indiana’s Lifeline Law during the 2014 legislative session, and the trio are fierce advocates for the Lifeline Law and for IYSA’s “Make Good Decisions.” Indiana’s Lifeline Law provides legal amnesty from prosecution for underage drinking, and many related drinking offenses, for a person who calls or texts, or for persons assisting, to report a medical emergency, sexual assault or other crime.

Indiana Youth Services Association’s Make Good Decisions Initiative and Sen. Merritt, author of Indiana’s Lifeline Law, have partnered with Indiana’s Text-to-911 services to increase public awareness about the ability to text to 911 in an emergency. The purpose of the partnership is to encourage young people to contact 911 for help when they find themselves or a friend in an emergency, especially those situations that may involve alcohol or a sexual assault, or if they witness another crime. The statewide public education campaign will focus on high school and college students with digital messages delivered on mobile devices (cell phones, tablets, iPads, etc.) with videos and graphics that contain information about Indiana’s Lifeline Law, alcohol awareness and signs of alcohol poisoning, and encourage young people

Celebrating Success While Looking Ahead IYSA and Make Good Decisions representatives are immensely proud of what has been accomplished over the last decade, and they recognize that their work is far from being complete. They acknowledge that their primary fundraiser is transcending beyond the boundaries of Indiana and is making an impact in states throughout the nation. IYSA Chief Advancement Officer Michele Whelchel stated, “We will have a special program this year [at The Blind Pig] to celebrate and honor the past years along with a timeline acknowledging the significant benchmarks that have happened over the last decade.” IYSA Chief Executive Officer David Westenberger added, “We’re glad to be back in person this year. Our plan is to have the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation curate the music this year, and we’re stepping up our game in every aspect of the event. Our sponsors and contributors are also stepping up their gifts due to it being the 10th anniversary. So, we will have 10 big live auctions items in addition to a robust silent auction!” When asked what they are most proud of, Dawn Finbloom replied, “If it wasn’t for the community support and for IYSA, we wouldn’t be at this 10-year point. Like Jim [Merritt] says, we have a new batch of teens every year, and we wouldn’t be in a position to help them, to teach them about the Lifeline Law and most importantly about the warning signs of alcohol and drug poisoning if it wasn’t for the support of our community and IYSA.” Norm Finbloom added, “Part of what we’re most proud of is that Indiana teens


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are taking the message and are spreading it to other states when they go off to college. We know people from other states—Florida, Tennessee, Alabama and others—who are coming the event to support what is being done, and then they will take the messages back to their communities.” Dawn stated, “We’re working with some other states, really targeting to get the information out there, and Michelle’s been working hard on that—specifically with the state of Massachusetts right now, and Jim’s been helping with getting in touch with the legislators.” While being key to the passing of the Indiana Lifeline Law and a staunch advocate for Making Good Decisions, Merritt admits that there is much more work that needs to be done in the way of providing wraparound services to people—especially young people—who are struggling with alcohol and drug addictions. “I’m not going to claim a whole lot of credit for all that’s gone on the last 10 years because it’s been a team effort,” Merritt expressed. “I think one of the reasons

we’ve been so successful is because it’s very personal to all of us. When we relay the stories and situations of tragedy as well as positive results, I think that really comes home to people.” Merritt continued, “Dawn and I have talked about this several times, and that is the idea about having a Lifeline Law for drug overdoses. When we have all these wonderful people together on June 18, we need to be looking towards the future and in a very positive way. We need to provide hope for the future along with a road map of what we need to do next. We’ve done this for 10 years, and we feel like we have a solid body of work and we’ve had success saving lives, but we continue to ask ourselves where are going, and I think that keeps us fresh. And I think it keeps people engaged in the mission, willing to help.” Please join us for this year’s The Blind Pig on June 16, 2022, and if you are interested in becoming a sponsor this year, please visit for more details on the event as well as IYSA and Make Good Decisions.

Indiana Youth Services Association Presents our Ninth Annual Special Event

ENJOY Live Music and Friendly Gambling, Heavy Hors D’oeuvres, Live and Silent Auction, All While Supporting IYSA’s MAKE GOOD DECISIONS INITIATIVE. For more information about the event please visit

A speakEasy Shindig


The Blind Pig Speakeasy Shindig will be in person this year! Come enjoy some delicious food and our signature version of giggle juice, “The Bees Knees”! Also included will be some great music, dancing, underground gaming, a silent and live auction and much more! DATES / TIMES June 16, 2022 Doors open for check-in: 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Event: 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. LOCATION Columbia Club 121 Monument Circle Indianapolis, IN 46204

100% of the proceeds benefit MAKE GOOD DECISIONS, educating teens and young adults about the dangers of underage drinking, drugs and the Indiana Lifeline Law. The Columbia Club has blocked a set of rooms for our guests at the special rate of $129. To secure a room, please call 317-767-1361 and mention that you are a “Blind Pig” attendee.

Big Pig Sponsor:

You must be 21 to attend the event!

MAIN EVENT 6:30PM-9:30PM Doors Open for Registration at 6:00pm

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MEET THE CAST Suzanne Fleenor – Director

Fleenor is no stranger to the arts community or to the Civic Theatre. Fleenor was a member of the Junior Civic when it was located at the original 19th and Alabama St. location and has acted and director numerous productions over the years and directed YAP productions when it was first founded. Fleenor was poised to direct “Matilda” back in 2020 and was three weeks into rehearsal when COVID-19 hit. “It’s an honor and a thrill to be back,” Fleenor shared. “We cast the show two years ago, and of course, we’ve had to recast many roles. Thank goodness some of the major roles stayed with us. I’m so grateful to them, and then, of course, our national treasure Anne Beck, the choreographer. She is an extraordinary and gifted artist as well as a wonderful collaborator.”

Mikayla Koharchik – Mrs. Wormwood


‘Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical’ THE TARKINGTON // APR. 29–MAY 14 Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of Civic

Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, the Tony Award-winning “Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical” is the captivating masterpiece from the Royal Shakespeare Company that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dreams of a better life. With book by Dennis Kelly and original songs by Tim Minchin, “Matilda” has won 47 international awards and continues to thrill sold-out audiences of all ages around the world.


atilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers. She is unloved by her cruel parents—Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood—but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly loveable Miss Honey. Over the course of her first term at school, Matilda and Miss Honey have a profound effect on each other’s lives as Miss Honey begins

not only to recognize but also appreciate Matilda’s extraordinary personality. Matilda’s school life isn’t completely smooth sailing, however—the school’s mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who don’t abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts and could be the school pupils’ saving grace!

Note: The May 8 performance at 2 p.m. is designated as an inclusive performance, designed to create a welcoming experience that is intended for patrons who have social, cognitive or physical challenges that create sensory sensitivities. In addition, an ASL interpreter will be available as well as audio description services being provided. Large-print programs are also available for the visually impaired, upon request. For tickets, visit For more information on the Civic Theatre, visit

The narcistic mother of Matilda is played by veteran actress Mikayla Koharchik, who is herself an extraordinary mother in real life. Koharchik shared what it’s been like developing her character. “I’m playing Mrs. Wormwood, who is probably the worst mother in the history of mothers,” Koharchik said. “The line that embodies her is, ‘Looks are more important than books.’ It is humorous, in my opinion, as someone who was an English major and is a teacher who believes in the power of books to play the antithesis of myself. It makes this role an absolute blast. It’s hilarious, and I hope that I don’t have anything in common with [Wormwood] as a mother.”

Evan Wallace – Miss Agatha Trunchbull Looking back at our years in school, we can all think of that one teacher who lifted us up and the one teacher who wanted to grind us down. Evan Wallace shared what one of his reference points was—one particular teacher from his youth who didn’t appreciate his vibe, nor did he appreciate hers. “I’m playing Miss Agatha Trunchbull, and I’m having the time of my life. I was definitely that kid in class that was on a first name basis with the principal. My reference point for Trunchbull is one teacher in particular that I had, and she and I definitely had the ‘Matilda vs. Trunchbull’ relationship. Trunchbull is just ‘done’ being kind because it hasn’t gotten her anywhere. The character is a hoot and a half to play!”

Julia Bonnett – Miss Honey Playing the opposite of Miss Trunchbull is Julia Bonnett. Bonnett shared her insight on the relationship between Matilda and Miss Honey


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CAST Wormwood Miss Agatha Trunchbull Miss Honey Mr. Wormwood Mrs. Wormwood Michael Wormwood Mrs. Phelps Doctor Escapologist Rudolpho Acrobat Child’s Entertainer Henchmen

and how both characters find strength from one another in the course of the musical. “Miss Honey is the opposite of Miss Trunchbull in that she teaches with kindness, patience and love—which is one of her lines,” Bonnett shared. “Miss Honey had a very traumatic childhood, and she relates far more to the children and is more comfortable with them than she is with adults. I think [Miss Honey] sees herself in Matilda. She also sees Matilda’s bravery, intelligence and her feistiness, and I think these are things that she wishes she could have been. It’s her mission throughout this show to lift Matilda up and to support her. In the process, she learns more about herself and grows more as a human and grows stronger because of it.”

Alexis Vahrenkamp – Matilda Wormwood Originally cast as Matilda two years ago, Vahrenkamp shared that she learned more about how to be in the moment and is better prepared for the role now because of the pandemic. She expressed her gratitude to her fellow cast members for their ongoing support and guidance. She is also very excited to portray Matilda for her audiences. “Matilda is so intelligent and has so much charisma,” Vahrenkamp said. “But she doesn’t

know how the world works. Everyone in her life is bringing her down except that spark that is Miss Honey. Matilda gets these stories in head, and that connection becomes so strong within her. It’s just so powerful, and she never knew that she could channel that power within herself and bring it out into the world.” Be sure to join us in supporting the rich traditions and professional artistry that Civic Theatre has provided to audiences for more than a century and get your tickets for one or all of the performances of “Matilda”!


Cook Lavender Amanda Alice Hortensia Bruce Nigel Eric Tommy Ensemble (Parents, Older Kids, etc.)


Music & Lyrics by TIM MINCHIN

ROALD DAHL’S MATILDA THE MUSICAL is presented through special arrangement with Musical Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.


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Actors Theatre of Indiana Presents:

‘Working’ B

ased on Terkel’s bestselling book of interviews with American workers, “Working” paints a vivid portrait of the men and women that the world so often takes for granted: the schoolteacher, the phone operator, the waitress, the millworker, the mason and the housewife, just to name a few. Nominated for six Tony Awards, this classic has been updated for a modern age, featuring new songs by Tony Award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as favorites by Stephen Schwartz, Craig Carnelia and James Taylor. *This show does contain mature themes. Please go to to order tickets or call the Center for the Performing Arts box office at (317) 843-3800.

Meet the Cast and a Couple of Crew Members I spoke with the director and many of the cast members—some from out-ofstate—on what they hope the audiences will take away from “Working,” and some shared how the musical resonates with their own life stories

Adam Tran Tran is excited to be back working with ATI! You may have caught him previously in “Million Dollar Quartet,” and you may have also seen him in IRT’s “You Can’t Take It With You,” Summit Performance’s “Silent Sky” or a myriad of productions in Cincinnati (including but not limited to his one-man show “Mongrel,” developed and produced at Know Theatre of Cincinnati). “‘Working’ is sort of an homage to my family,” Tran expressed. “All of my family is blue collar, so this [production] doesn’t feel particularly challenging to me. My mom is pushing 60,

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of ATI

Actors Theatre of Indiana invites you to join them as they wrap up their 2021–22 season with “Working.” From the book by Studs Terkel, adapted by Stephen Schwartz, “Working” is the examination of 26 people from all walks of life, proving that it’s more than just a job for the average working American. and she had me when she was quite young. And because she had me when she was quite young, she didn’t have time to develop new work skills, and she has worked in a factory of some kind or another my whole life. For me, [‘Working’] is kind of about remembering where I came from.”

Allen Sledge Sledge brings years of training and performing with him to this production. Among these are his works in theater, including “The Wild Party” and “Ragtime” with Footlite Musicals and” Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat” with Fort Wayne Civic Theatre. His concerts include performing with Heather Headley in the “Coming Home” concert with Unity Choir in Fort Wayne. “This is really exciting for me,” Sledge stated. “This is my first professional show in a long time, and it’s exciting that I can be where I live and work at this quality level with professionals who are all committed to the same thing and know it out of the park. It’s been fun exploring and looking at the stories of real people who have grown to find purpose and value in what they do. I think that’s something we can all relate to, whether we’re doing our dream job or doing a job that we just like.”

Aviva Pressman Pressman is an actor, singer, clown, comedian, calligrapher and medical educator. Favorite credits include National Tour and Madison Square Garden productions of “Rudolph the Musical,” “Amos & Boris” at South Coast Repertory and “The Composer

Is Dead” at Disney Concert Hall. Her solo show, “Deadlift,” has been produced in Los Angeles and Philadelphia to rave reviews. Aviva toured internationally with Amazon Prime as a singer/improviser for the show “Good Omens.” Her voice can be heard in anime, Netflix dubs, podcasts, commercials and even toys! “What I hope people get out of this is that they have some perceptions challenged,” Pressman shared. “I think there’s a lot of power in the fact that these are real people’s words. You’re seeing something in common with them and are thinking about the ways that we’re all connected. The way that I’m developing my characters at this point is very technical. It’s my job as an actress to make these characters truthful and for the audience to be able to distinguish between them.”

Lillie Eliza Thomas Thomas is incredibly excited to be making her Actors Theatre of Indiana debut! Some Florida productions she has been a part of include “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Guys and Dolls” and as Esmeralda in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” She received the Orlando Sentinel Critic’s Choice for Best Lead Actress in a Musical and for Best Featured Actress in a Musical and was noted as Orlando Theater’s Best of 2021 Leading Actress in a Musical. “I want the audience to respect other people’s journeys and to acknowledge their feelings and emotions and what they go through on a day-to-day basis,” Thomas said. “Honestly, just to recognize that we all have purpose. Your journey is going to be different from somebody else’s, and we can learn from somebody else’s story, so it’s good to have open minds, open hearts, open eyes and open ears.”


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Lysa Fox Fox is excited to be directing for Actors Theatre Indiana for the first time. She is currently the head of musical theatre at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois, and has an MFA in acting and directing from California State University, Long Beach. She is a native of Montana and has performed, directed and choreographed extensively in that part of the country. Lysa is a founding member of Venture Theatre in Billings, Montana, where she served as both the education director and artistic director before leaving the area in 2008. “What I love about this [production] is, we sometimes look at some of those jobs and we think ‘grunt work,’” Fox said. “But what is really beautiful in this script is that there’s many people that have these jobs and love them, and

they’re not what you think they are, and they’re not who you think they are because of the jobs that they have. So, I hope ‘Working’ holds a mirror up to people. “I’m very excited to do this show. I was supposed to do “Damn Yankees,” but that got cancelled and ATI graciously kept me on, so this is a couple of years in the making.”

Carol Worcel Worcel is choreographing ATI’s production of “Working.” She played in the National Broadway tours of “42nd Street” and “Anything Goes.” Regional credits include “A Chorus Line,” “Annie” and “Godspell.” Carol co-owns Worcel Shepard Productions (www.WorcelShepardProductions. com) with directing/choreography credits including Sandi Patty’s “Le Voyage,”

the NBA Pacer’s Pacemates, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Circle of Lights, IndyFringe, Beef and Boards, The Indy 500, as well as regional theaters, tours and opening ceremonies for national clients. “The way that I approached the choreography for these numbers is that they are real people telling a story with choreography,” Worcel shared. “So, the choreography is not presentational like most of your bigger musicals. The character has to tell the story, and for me, the lyric is very important because that’s what I’m listening for cue-wise. I told the cast on some of the ensemble pieces where they’re dancing together to bring their own style to this—it’s not a ‘Rockette’ thing. This is telling a story by their character, and we’re having fun with it.”

The Studio Theater April 29–May 22, 2022

THE EXTRAORDINARY DREAMS OF ORDINARY PEOPLE. A vivid portrait of the men and women that the world so often takes for granted. From the book by Studs Terkel | Adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Center’s Fifth Third Bank Box Office at the Palladium, call 317.843.3800 or visit


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APRIL 2022

2022-04-26 10:48 AM

Dr. Tim Phares

New CHS Principal Intends to Build Upon the School Traditions Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Laura Arick

Carmel Clay Schools (CCS) recently named Carmel resident Dr. Tim Phares as the next principal of Carmel High School (CHS) for the upcoming 2022–23 school year. We are pleased to feature Dr. Phares on this month’s cover and appreciate the time that he spent speaking with us about his career at CCS as well as the importance of improving the standards and carrying on the many time-honored traditions that make CHS the remarkable high school that it is.

Meet Dr. Tim Phares


r. Phares lives in Carmel with his wife—who graduated CHS in 1999—and their four children, who currently attend Carmel Clay Schools. Dr. Phares’ parents were both educators and were positive influences on Dr. Phares as he began his career in education. During his 22 years in Carmel Clay Schools, Dr. Phares has gained a comprehensive background as an educator and administrator. He began his career as a kindergarten teacher at Orchard Park Elementary before serving as the assistant principal at Prairie Trace Elementary, then principal at Orchard Park and Towne Meadow.

As the current principal for Creekside Middle School, Dr. Phares has demonstrated his ability to lead and dedication to growth and achievement. Last year, the Indiana Association of School Principals recognized Dr. Phares as the District 5 Middle School Principal of the Year for his professional accomplishments, qualifications and leadership. Dr. Phares is a longtime Carmel resident with four children who currently attend Carmel Clay Schools. Whether supporting his kids or school family, he can usually be found near a sports field, performing stage or operating the grill for the Phares crew or Creekside staff. Dr. Phares received his B.S. in education


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(elementary education) from Indiana Wesleyan; M.S. in education (educational administration and supervision) from Ball State University; Ed.S. (education specialist) and Ed.D. (Doctor of Education) from Ball State University. “When I started in this [school] district, I looked at it as they were taking a chance on me,” Dr. Phares shared. “And I always look at hiring teachers as making an investment for years to come. CCS is investing in me, and I look at what I’m going to be able to give back.” When Dr. Phares started teaching for the CCS district more than 20 years ago, he got involved with coaching baseball and basketball and was involved with the

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Carmel Dads’ Club while he continued working on his professional development, working on his administrative license and earning his doctorate. “I was teaching kindergarten, coaching seventh- and eighth-grade sports and eventually high school sports,” Dr. Phares said. “My career has been built around all [grade] levels of kids. I give a lot of credit to the people I’ve been surrounded by— the great educators in Carmel—that took me under their wings.” Dr. Phares continued, “I finished my doctorate in 2017 and had my superintendent’s license and felt that my ultimate goal was the central office. To me, the pinnacle of high school administration and building administration is Carmel High School. There is no better place for me to continue my educational journey than CHS.” When the opportunity for Dr. Phares to sign on as CHS’ incoming principal for the upcoming school year, he expressed that the timing was just right. Dr. Phares added, “It’s an opportunity to continue to learn and grow and to be part of something bigger than me. That’s what’s brought me here today.” While walking and talking with Dr. Phares through the halls of CHS, we noticed that member of the staff and students alike stopped to exchange a few words with Dr. Phares, an indication that Dr. Phares is not only a popular figure but is approachable as well. “I would say that building relationships has always been a big thing for me,” Dr. Phares expressed. “I always say that kids want your time, and they value that interaction. For me, that’s where the relationship piece comes in. We [educators] have to encourage the kids to get involved, and we have to connect with the kids because those relationships matter. This will be a continued goal with me—in this next role.”

Addressing the Challenges While Carrying on the Traditions When asked what some of the challenges he will face as principal are, Dr. Phares said, “I think probably the greatest challenge will be getting back to a prepandemic level. We’ve learned a lot throughout

the pandemic about things that we can do better, but there were a lot of things that we were doing really well—prepandemic—that we stopped doing just because we couldn’t do them, or we had to socially distance and things like that. So, for me, I think it’s being able to reflect on the things that we were doing well and being able to get those things going again.” Bringing back some of CHS’ time-honored traditions that were put on hiatus is a goal of Dr. Phares’ as he begins to plan the 2022–23 school year. “The traditions of our schools are part of the fabric of what we do every day,” Dr. Phares said. “Getting back to ‘normal’ is going to be one of the challenges, but I do feel that we are closer to that new ‘normal’ than we were a year ago. I think we’re on our way there.”

Committed to CHS and to the Carmel Community Throughout our conversation with Dr. Phares, it was important for him to convey to the staff, students and CHS families that his “doors are always open” and that he wants to be approachable. “When I’m out in the community, I want to be approachable, and that’s not going to change just because I’m working in a bigger building or have a higher profile,” Dr. Phares emphasized. “I want to be able to have a conversation, whether I’m grilling a burger for the track meet or out and about in the community. If a parent comes up and wants to talk—let’s talk. It’s


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not always negative things. Sometimes they just want to share an experience or share something about their child, and those are things I want to know.” Dr. Phares reminded us that he’s raising his own children in the district and that he and his family consider his being principal at CHS as a family commitment as much as it is an individual commitment. Dr. Phares added, “Our kids are Greyhounds, and they love it. As a family, we embrace more than just the school system. We love being out and about in the [Carmel] community. This position just creates more of an opportunity to connect with people.” When asked about getting to know his staff and taking an honest look at what things need improvement, Dr. Phares said, “As educators, we could easily hang our hats on test score or rest our laurels on accomplishments and things that we offer our kids, but every day we are having conversations about how we can get better. These are not always easy conversations, but when they’re hard, that’s when those relationships matter the most. We talk about providing the best that we can for our students and how we can be even better. That’s one of the things that CCS does really well, and I say that about my colleagues—all 15 principals—are constantly talking about what we are doing and how we could do things differently and better. It goes back to this whole community feel of how we can continue to get better at what we do within this community.”

APRIL 2022

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We s t Clay Realty on

Navigating an Ongoing Challenging Market Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Paola Williams Photography and Dauss Miller

It doesn’t take an economist or real estate specialist to understand that mortgage rates hitting over 5% on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for the first time since 2011 is going to have an impact on the real estate market nationwide.


or buyers, the increase in mortgage rates means that they will have to adjust their expectations and begin looking for homes in lower price ranges. The rising mortgage rates may force some buyers out of the market completely and may discourage some sellers from selling with demand and supply both decreasing. And according to local real estate experts, the market isn’t likely to flip to a buyer’s market anytime soon. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the near future, your best strategy is to work with a real estate agent rather than navigate these brutal waters without an experienced guide and without the proper tools.

The Buyers Are at the Mercy of the Sellers

Joe Kempler and Scot and Dawn Pollard with West Clay Realty spoke with us about the current market climate and shared some of their expertise on how to navigate this market as a buyer or a seller as both roles are being presented with their respective challenges. With regard to real estate inventory, Kempler said, “MIBOR is saying that there’s going to be more inventory coming on the market between now and the end of August, so that would be a better thing for buyers, though I don’t see prices letting up.” Kempler explained that it’s still a seller’s market and gave a recent example of a


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home in Geist that was listed at $775,000 and a buyer’s agent made an offer for $100,000 over the list price. “The agent told me that the seller was probably going to take it [the offer],” Kempler said. “I said, ‘Well, I would too.’ I’ve been in situations, recently, where the offers are all way over list, they’re bringing money to the [closing] table for appraisal gaps, not waiving inspections necessarily but are not asking for any repairs under $1,500 per item. So, it’s all still in the seller’s hands, and sellers are more encouraged to get their properties on the market before the rates tick up even more.” Scot Pollard added, “It’s not a panic situation, but there is some pressure to

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sell while the rates are not as high as they could be. And for buyers that say they’re going to wait for there to be more inventory—the prices may soften but with the rates going up, your monthly payments are going to be higher. We have clients that are planning to sell now, and they’re going to downsize and rent. Which would be ideal for anyone who wants to sell in this market but not leave the area. It’s really the only option to make money in this market and come out ahead. You’re not going to be able to buy a similar house for the same price or even close to it.” Pollard continued, “If you have options to rent for a while and you don’t mind downsizing from a five-bedroom to a three-bedroom, you should probably sell now and buy back when the interest rates come back down.”

Rely on the Market Experts

When asked why people should consider working with real estate agents,

especially now, Dawn Pollard replied, “As a seller, you make an average of 8% more working with a real estate agent than you do in a For Sale By Owner scenario.” Scot Pollard added, “There’s technical parts of real estate contracts like escalation clauses and other things that you can put into a contract as a real estate broker/agent that make [the contract] look more attractive. Things like an escalation clause could help the deal, and if you have the ability to bring more cash to the table, waive an inspection, appraisal gap coverage—these are technical things and tools that agents can use on your behalf and help you navigate this difficult [real estate] market.” Another point that Kempler and the Pollards made was that working with real estate brokers who collaborate with other local brokers can be a huge benefit to both a buyer and a seller. Kempler added, “There can be some real advantages working with a broker who knows there’s inventory coming on

the market and can beat the crowd, so to speak. It’s not always guaranteed, but a buyer would never know that a property is coming onto the market if they’re not working with a broker or agent.” Scot Pollard added, “Working with a broker or agent is more important now than ever before because of these crazy times and all of the different scenarios that can be presented in different offers. I don’t know why anybody would want to try to navigate this [market] alone and try to get a decent offer in without having an agent guide you and give you some advice. It’s a daunting prospect in and of itself and in these times, and that’s why we—brokers and agents—are here to help you throughout the process of buying or selling a home.” Contact West Clay Realty before you buy or list your home. Visit to connect with Joe Kempler or Scot and Dawn Pollard.

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APRIL 2022

2022-04-26 4:50 PM

Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Program Show Choir Competitions and the Spring Musical Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Submitted

At long last, it’s beginning to feel like things are returning to “normal” or at least Carmel High School Show Choirs have been enjoying traditional seasonal events like show choir competitions and rehearsing for the Carmel High School Spring Musical again without a bunch of restrictions!


spoke with Carmel High School Choral Directors Kathrine Kouns and Kyle Barker about this year’s extraordinary show choir season and this spring’s musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”! RISING TO THE CHALLENGE IN TYPICAL CHS SHOW CHOIR FASHION Once again, all of CHS’s show choirs brought home the competition bling! Kouns expressed how proud the choral directors are of the students for their commitment to excellence and respect for one another’s time and efforts. “We’re extremely proud of how hard these students worked,” Kouns ex-

pressed. “There were certainly some very unique and new obstacles that we were up against and recovering from. I think it’s been really hard for any of us to be able to know or anticipate how the students were going to react or bounce back into a more regular routine after the last two years.” Despite the last two more sedentary years, Kouns shared that the students, parents and support team all rose to the occasion, making this year’s competition season extraordinary. “We came out guns blazing,” Kouns exclaimed. “We competed in five extremely competitive and difficult competitions right away. It was sort of like throwing


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everybody back into the deep end and saying, ‘Let’s swim!’ What was really refreshing and exciting was that so many of our colleagues at really great schools with great programs approached their [competition] season the same way that we did. So, when we competed, we were up against some fantastic choirs and ensembles. Our students were able to see fellow high school students from neighboring programs work just as hard and giving their all, which made for a great season because there was this mutual respect for everybody.” SUPPORT EQUALS OPPORTUNITIES After speaking with the choral directors, I felt compelled to remind my fellow supporters of the performing arts that the opportunities that are afforded the CHS choir students are made possible by the generosity of not only CHS families but also the financial gifts provided by local businesses and community members. Kouns explained that national and international affairs, such as workforce shortages, supply chain issues and rising gas prices, have deeply impacted the CHS performing arts department’s budget. In addition to the financial impact the pandemic had on the show choirs’

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fundraising efforts over the last two years, it has been a challenging time for the show choirs. As we look ahead to the next school year and show choir competition season, Kouns humbly asked that if there are any individuals or businesses interested in sponsorships for next year, she is more than happy to discuss those opportunities with you. Please consider donating or a sponsorship and contact Kouns at “GO! GO! GO! JOSEPH” The Carmel High School Performing Arts Department is pleased to announce its spring musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” The show is live on stage at Carmel High School, May 12–13 at 7 p.m. and May 14 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. This huge production will challenge the cast, crew and creative team because it will be in a nontraditional venue. The production will feature 50 student actors, a kids chorus made up of CCS Middle School students and over 50

crew members. They are going all-out with production values too, as the set and lighting will be top-notch! This is the most produced musical ever made, and CHS is thrilled to bring the show to Carmel again. Barker is co-directing this production with Anna DeBard and shared with me some teasers that will enthrall students and Broadway enthusiasts alike! “I’m really excited for this show,” Barker stated. “We have around 200 kids working on this show—counting all the stage, pit crews and behind-the-scenes stuff that’s happening. We worked with the school on figuring out how we can perform this in the gym, and the big creative adjustment that I’m really excited about is because we’re not on a stage, we are modeling this production similar to a couple of revivals that were done—one recently in London and another in Lincoln Center—that made it feel more like an arena-type concert event with a lot of modern takes.”

Barker continued, “You’re going to see a lot of denim in the costumes, and the chariot that ‘Joseph’ rides out in is not going to be any sort of carriage. And instead of our pharaoh being an Elvis impersonator, ours is going to be a Brittany [Spears] impersonator with backup dancers! It’s a different take on the production, and the students are totally on board with it. It’s fun to see all the pieces coming together, and I’m really excited. I’ve never done a musical like this before!” Don’t miss out! Get your tickets for the spring musical! Tickets are $12 and are on sale at

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