Zionsville Monthly-March 2023

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4 ZIONSVILLE MONTHLY MARCH 2023 TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Call the Center’s Fifth Third Bank Box Office 317.843.3800 Scan for Tickets MASTERWORKS 5 Sat., April 22, 2023 | 7:30 pm Sterling Elliott, cello CSO POPS Sat., May 6, 2023 | 7:30 pm Respect: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin Media Partner Hear ‘In Rowan Oak’ by UIndy’s Dr. John Berners on April 22! Media Partner Concert Sponsor Concert Sponsor MONTHLY 20 COVER
// Janelle Morrison • Cover photo // Courtesy of Indianapolis Colts 6 Campaign Spotlight: Elect Kyle Campbell for Zionsville Town Council District 3: New Possibilities and Real Leadership Working for You 10 Actors Theatre of Indiana Presents: Mr. Confidential 12 Spyro Gyra Will Highlight the Inaugural Carmel Jazz Fest Weekend at the Palladium 14 Civic Theatre: The Sound of Music 16 Center Presents: Kevin Nealon 18 Campaign Spotlight: John Stehr for Mayor: A Vision for Zionsville’s Future 22 Campaign Spotlight: Jane Burgess for Zionsville Mayor: A Proven Leader
Special Teams Coach Brian Mason: From

Elect Kyle Campbell for

Zionsville Town Council District 3:

New Possibilities and Real Leadership Working for You

Kyle Campbell has called Zionsville home for more than a decade but had a lifelong connection to Zionsville prior to moving here. Campbell’s grandparents, Harold and Jackie Dillon, settled in Zionsville in 1973, and many know his grandfather as the “Hasta Man,” a longtime vendor at the Zionsville Farmers Market. Campbell is the General Manager of Whitestown Marathon and U-Haul, and his passion for Zionsville is what made him decide to run for town council where he can utilize his exceptional leadership and communication skills to better serve the residents of Zionsville’s District 3.

will add to our spirit of community.”

Campbell added, “In a highly competitive environment, Zionsville has much to offer. A growing income stream will allow us to invest in those priorities that make our town a wonderful place to live: public safety, infrastructure, public spaces and community-building. We cannot sustain and improve our com-

seat. First and foremost, my goal is to keep the people in my district informed, to communicate [regularly] with them so as to identify their wants and needs. Throughout my campaign, I am meeting with the various [town] department heads so that I can become familiar with the wants and needs of the town’s departments. I believe we should be


putting more money into the police and fire departments’ budgets.

My top priorities are and will always be public safety, economic development and fiscal responsibility. I firmly believe that we not only need to maintain our quality of life but continually strive to improve it. To that end, we need to pivot in a direction that actually works and not fall back on the residential taxpayers of this community. Zionsville needs to diversify the town’s revenue by leveraging resources and assets to attract dynamic businesses, jobs and people who will add to our spirit of community. A growing income stream will allow us to invest in those priorities that make our town a wonderful place to live: public safety, infrastructure, public spaces and a place that facilitates community-building.”

Campbell continued, “Businesses are not going to come to Zionsville and grown in our town if we don’t have a strong credit rating,” Campbell stated. “Our population has grown 5 percent every year since 2018. There are new possibilities for our town, but we have to

have communication and transparency from the town council and the mayor’s office to make these future opportunities a reality. If we have the right council and the right mayor, we can build a better and brighter future for Zionsville. I look forward to getting to know you and earning your vote on May 2, 2023.”

For more information on Kyle Campbell for Zionsville Town Council, visit electkylecampbellforzionsvilletowncouncil.com

• Economic Development

• Fiscal Responsibility

• Communication

• Public Safety

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tions. Before there was TMZ or the National Enquirer, there was Confidential Magazine. It’s human nature to be curious about celebrities and about the well-to-do, don’t you think?

SGB: It’s very tribal. It’s a way of protecting the “tribe,” because we enforce ideas about what is proper behavior. So, looking out to find who isn’t behaving is kind of, from an evolutionary standpoint, is part of how we enforce norms of behavior. I don’t think that over the centuries, it had the internet, entertainment journalism, and show business quite in mind, but I take how we respond to gossip and see it’s very much hardwired.

JM: Not much has changed since the days of Confidential. The celebrities are still playing off of the press, for good or for bad.

Mr. Confidential Actors

Theatre of Indiana Presents

The Studio Theater // Apr 28 – May 14

Book and Lyrics by Samuel Garza-Bernstein, Music by David Snyder

The sizzle starts here … A story of family, dreams, innocence, love and scandal. When Bob Harrison created Confidential Magazine in 1952, he gave the public gossip, humor and sex. But he also offered something totally unexpected — the truth about the rich and famous. It quickly became the #1 selling magazine in America.

Soon, Bob wasn’t just telling the story, he was the story, with headlines, scandals and a wild ride of his own. A giddy, vibrant tale set in New York and Hollywood at their most glamourous and dangerous. This is a fable, but almost all of it really happened! Don’t miss this World Premiere!

Purchase tickets at thecenterpresents.org.

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing playwright and director Samuel Garza-Bernstein about the upcoming world premiere of this fascinating production. Having discussed the Confidential Magazine empire and the people who ran it, along with Garza-Bernstein’s take on its rise and fall, this upcoming world premiere has my endorsement for being the “Must See” production of the season!

Janelle Morrison: We can’t wait to welcome you back to Carmel, Indiana, and are excited for the world premiere of “Mr. Confidential”! You published the book “Mr. Confidential” in 2006 and have been working on the musical since 2009, and that included a reading with ATI last year. How did that help the progression of this project?

Samuel Garza-Bernstein: You know, when you do a reading like we did last year [at ATI], that was pretty full out — we did all the songs, and it was rehearsed very full on — it gave us a chance to get to know one another. I don’t think I had any trepidation or anything, but certainly after working with the [ATI] company, I felt like the luckiest person ever. It’s been a real collaboration.

JM: As a student of journalism, I remember learning about Mr. Harrison’s publica-

SGB: Our choreographer Willem [de Vries] worked with TMZ when it was launched and was in charge of the NYC office. He’ll tell you how Kim Kardashian’s people would call him and say, “Hey, we’re gonna be over here,” so he would show up with the photographers, and then the Kardashians would angrily say, “They [press] won’t leave us alone. We don’t have our privacy.” That was hand in hand — the stars themselves or their representatives would give the stories, and then it would be this “scandal” but a fun scandal mostly. There were all these headlines swirling around, they’d threaten to sue, and everybody got attention. It was kind of a win-win most of the time.

JM: What about Harrison’s life and the Confidential Magazine “story” made you want to take it on and not only write a book about it but a musical as well?

SGB: I had been in the Confidential [Magazine] world for 20 years and knew some of the people that the book and the musical are about. When I set out to write the book about this, it was almost happenstance. I found out that I knew a woman at the center of the magazine in another life. She had been the flame-haired femme fatale, the “Duchess of Dirt” — Marjorie Meade — who was on trial in 1957 and also Bob Harrison’s niece. She and I were on a charitable foundation together.

I portray [Marjorie] in a way in the show that at the heart is true to the spirit of who she was. However, I have not particularly highlighted the part of her [personality] that answered one my questions in the way that she did. I asked her, “Do you ever look back and kind of regret a story or think maybe the story went too far and we shouldn’t

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

have done that?” And she just looked me square in the face and said, “No. The people we wrote about … the Ava Gardners and Lana Turners were trashy people in how they behaved. What did they expect?” Not a lot of self-reflection in that answer, but who am I to judge? When you think about the standards of that day, and you think about what was written about the stars and what they were getting into, and they got into an awful lot … I mean, Lana Turner wasn’t sitting around being a housewife. [Laughing] She wrote in her autobiography, “I planned on having one husband and seven children, but it turned out the other way around.”

JM: Do you think Harrison was intentionally pushing societal boundaries for the betterment of society, or was it just all about selling magazines? And what would he think about social media?

SGB: He wasn’t exactly a deep thinker

accidental. He had a mission to sell magazines. I would say he would harness social media and relish it. He would not really think about the consequences, because he wasn’t a guy who thought about those. We show [in the musical] how he created the monster and how the monster then kicked him in the ass. “Mr. Confidential” is your classic morality tale.

JM: I am beyond stoked to see how you and the entire cast and crew are going to bring Harrison, his people and the magazine to life on stage here in Carmel, Indiana!

SGB: We will have three projection screens that will bring 700 images to life in animated form! Marlene Dietrich was featured in one of the early [Confidential] stories, and we do a thing with her on the cover of the magazine, and she turns and winks at the audience. We will see the stories coming together with giant pictures, and there are

including scenes where they will have quick changes on stage! “Mr. Confidential” is a musical and a visual feast! It’s got a great story to tell, and we are out to entertain!



Don Farrell as Bob Harrison

Diana O’Halloran as Jeannie Douglas

Shelbi Berry as Marjorie Meade

Tim Fullerton as Howard Rushmore

Cynthia Collins as Edith Tobias

Judy Fitzgerald as Frances Rushmore

Jacob Butler as Michael Tobias

ENSEMBLE (playing multiple roles but identified by their most important character):

Jaddy Ciucci as Francesca de la Peña

John B. Vessels, Jr. as Walter Winchell

Jason Frierson as Preston Wright

Kieran Danaan as Fred Meade

Matthew Conwell as Alex Coveny

Emily Bohannon as Gail Forrester

Megan Arrington as Betty Zeidler

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 atistage.org.

Spyro Gyra Will Highlight the Inaugural Carmel Jazz Fest Weekend at the Palladium

The Center for the Performing Arts is pleased to announce that long-running jazz fusion band Spyro Gyra will highlight the inaugural Carmel Jazz Fest weekend with an Aug. 12 performance at the Palladium.

Known for original instrumental pieces spiced with R&B, Latin and world music elements, Spyro Gyra emerged during the 1970s fusion wave and never let up, releasing 35 albums, playing more than 10,000 shows and earning 13 Grammy nominations over the past five decades.

Spyro Gyra last performed at the Center in January 2012. On the current tour,

saxophonist and founding bandleader Jay Beckenstein is joined by longtime members Julio Fernandez on guitar and Scott Ambush on bass, along with more recent arrivals Lionel Cordew on drums and Chris Fischer on keyboards.

The band’s most recent album, “Vinyl Tap,” was an intriguing departure, a cover collection of songs by The Beatles, Cream, Blind Faith and other classic rockers.

Tickets starting at $25 will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the Palladium’s Fifth Third Bank Box Office, online at TheCenterPresents.org and by phone at (317) 843-3800. Separate passes are required for Carmel Jazz Fest, which will take place on the Center’s campus and at other venues around the city Aug. 11–12. More information is available at www. carmeljazzfest.org.

I had the pleasure of speaking with The Center for the Performing Arts President/ CEO Jeff McDermott as well as Spyro Gyra’s founding bandleader and saxophonist Jay Beckenstein about the upcoming concert presented by The Center for the Performing Arts.

Janelle Morrison: I am excited about Spyro Gyra’s return to the Palladium!

Jeff McDermott: We’re excited about this idea of the [jazz] festival and that they plan to use the Center’s venues, which are right here in the heart of Carmel. We’re proud to present Spyro Gyra on the same weekend as the Carmel Jazz Festival.

JM: The Center has a history of advocating Indiana’s — the nation’s — rich jazz history through its Jazz series offerings each season.

JMcD: This fiscal year alone, we’ve had Herb Alpert and Lani Hall in concert and Madeleine Peyroux as part of our jazz genre and Chris Botti — obviously, a great jazz artist. We recently welcomed Jonathan Butler, and year in and year out, we have great jazz offerings that we bring to the community. So, bringing Spyro Gyra here for a Center Presents performance the same weekend as the [Carmel] Jazz Festival seems like a perfect fit for us.

JM: Jay, I am thrilled that you’re returning to the Palladium. Moreover that you’ll be here to highlight the inaugural Carmel Jazz Fest!

Jay Beckenstein: We are honored to be part of the beginning of something, and hopefully, it’s the beginning of something that lasts for a long time because people will love the music.

JM: Speaking of loving music, it’s a blessing that you keep coming back to Indiana and sharing your talents. I want to talk about your most recent album,

• Photography // David White Photography

“Vinyl Tap,” and the process of putting it together, which you and your bandmates dubbed a “warping” process. What does that mean exactly?

JB: We got together as a group for most of the arranging of these songs. This was the first record where we were encouraged to play other people’s music. We’ve always written our own, so after 30-some-odd records, the idea of doing other people’s material was a complete novelty to us. But we went into it not wanting to be “wedding band” and sound like somebody doing covers. It was really important to us that we changed the materials substantially from the original and gave them our own treatments — hence, warping. We stretched and pulled all this music like taffy. It was a ton of fun and very much a group creativity session.

JM: The band itself has experienced evolution over the decades. Share with me who is touring along with you that is from the early days and who’s new to

the scene that will be debuting at the Palladium?

JB: I’m the one that goes back to the 70s. Our bass player, Scott Ambush, and our guitar player, Julio Fernandez, came into the band in the ’80s. Our drummer, Lionel Cordew, has been with us for 7–8 years, and we have one member that people will be seeing for the first time: our keyboardist, Chris Fischer. Our previous keyboardist, Tom Schuman, had been with us for many, many years but has decided to embark on other life experiences. He’s actually moving to Barcelona, Spain, and is changing his life totally. But I had heard this production that Chris was making, a record he was making with Scott. And he was the perfect guy to come in. He’s done a bang-up job bringing his own personality to the band, and it’s kind of fun having something new to react to.

JM: On behalf of all of your fans, we are thrilled that even after all this time,

you are sharing your talent and continue to tour. What do you hope people will experience when you come back to the Palladium and help launch the inaugural Carmel Jazz Fest?

JB: This [performing] is what I’m built for. We’ve been on the road for a few weeks, and one of things that we are experiencing is how the audiences are coming back. We’ve had nothing but sellout shows, and there’s so much enthusiasm from the people! We feel that big time from the audiences. And that becomes a reciprocal thing where the audience brings joy to us and we bring joy to them and vice versa. I really expect a great time and a great launch to the festival. I ask the community to support this venture, because it’s the passionate people that love music that make it happen!




The final collaboration between Rod gers & Hammerstein was destined to become the world’s most beloved musical. Featuring a trove of cher ished songs, including “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “My Favorite Things,” “Do Re Mi,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” and the title number, The Sound of Music won the hearts of audiences worldwide, earning five Tony Awards and five Oscars. The inspirational story, based on the memoir of Maria Augusta Trapp, follows an ebullient postulate who serves as governess to the seven children of the imperious Captain von Trapp, bringing music and joy to the household. But as the forces of Nazism take hold of Austria, Maria and the entire von Trapp family must make a moral decision.

(Concord Theatricals)

Note: The May 7 performance at 2pm 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. An ASL interpreter will also be available. Largeprint programs are also available for the visually impaired, upon request.

Tickets are on sale now at civictheatre.org.



The Sound of Music is what got me into loving musical theater and really connected me to what I am so passionate about. I was probably 2-years-old when I first saw it and remember having to replace the VHS tape after burning out the first [tape]. Then buying it on DVD and Blu-ray because I would watch it multiple times a year. Sound of Music is a timeless story that focuses on love, family and staying true to your own voice. It also focuses on not being afraid to follow what you believe is right and to your passion.

I know this story well and am hoping to interpret [Maria] in a way where I find a little bit of myself in this role while staying true to what the story is telling. I hope to look at the story through my own lens as well as a historical [lens] with the guidance of Anne [Beck] and the production team to make it a unique. Every story needs to be told in a fresh new way and this company can do that will of the individual voices that make up the cast.


- Max Detweiler

I am actually debuting for Civic Theatre after many years of knowing all these people for so long and was previously a union actor before running into Michael Lasley and he mentioned that they needed someone to play this role. The people are on the ball here at Civic. You can tell they love what they do and vocally, this is an amazing cast just listening to them rehears the big vocals. It’s really great!

My character [Max] is based on another person who was originally the priest/father of the church that helped these kids and actually escaped with them to America. My character is not based on the real person so I get to kind of make it my own while following the guideline. Max is in for himself, but he loves Georg and has a relationship with him and Elsa Schrader. He is hopeful that he’ll have two millionaires he can live off of for the rest of his life. It’s fun to play with that and create something that you wouldn’t normally see in the movie. There is more storyline and more to develop and that has been fun to discover.

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

APRIL 28MAY 13, 2023

Showtimes: Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays* @ 7:00pm Sundays @ 2:00pm

*Saturday, May 13 @ 2:00pm & 7:00pm*

The Sound of Music is a love story but it’s not just a romantic love story. It’s a love for family and for where your roots lie. They [roots] can change and your whole world can change, yet it still feels like home. I love the stage version and I really love where the songs fall in this. For many people, the songs are in the “wrong” places. For being a big song and dance person, it’s been completely enriching and enlightening to just dive into the storytelling. You’re going to leave the theater with the warmest hearts. During rehearsals, we’re finding all that beautiful writing and the little nuances as well as how much color there is in all the characters. I think the cast is doing a great job at bringing uniqueness while keeping the tradition of the story. There are really distinct and clever ways in which the cast is bringing these characters to lie.

I also really love that our audiences will be seeing the staples of Civic Theatre in addition to over half the cast being completely new to Civic. It’s a whole new family coming together to collaborate, create and to tell a story. To me that is really exciting that the Civic family is always growing especially with a story that is about family.


MARIA RAINER - Renée La Schiazza


LIESL - Emma Hornbecker

FRIEDRICH - Andrew Horras

LOUISA - Keegan Connor

KURT - Jack McNally

BRIGITTA - Adeline Giesting

MARTA - Katherine LeFan

GRETL - Greta Schaefer

MAX DETWEILER - David Maxwell

ELSA SCHRADER - Nina Stilabower

MOTHER ABBESS - Kirsten Gunlogson

SISTER BERTHE - Lauren Walawender

SISTER MARGARET - Heather Hansen

SISTER SOPHIA - Sydnie Blair

FRANZ - Dick Davis

FRAU SCHMIDT - Jennifer Sutton

ROLF GRUBER - Nolan Daugherty

URSULA - Karen Hurt

HERR ZELLER - Luke Robinson

FRAU ZELLER - Katie Stark





Arnold, Sadie Cohen, Melina DeGolyer, Karen

Hurt, Chad Leitschuh, Nicolette Mantica, Lee

Russell, Katie Stark, Jennifer Sutton, Anastasia


15 civictheatre.org | 317.843.3800
4/28 - 5/13
THE SOUND OF MUSIC is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. www.concordtheatricals.com Music by RICHARD RODGERS Lyrics by OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II Book by HOWARD LINDSAY and RUSSEL CROUSE
SOM Carmel Monthly Ad.indd 1 3/20/2023 11:23:25 AM
Suggested by “The Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp Anne Beck - Director/Choreographer



Emmy and SAG-nominated actor, comedian and author Kevin Nealon is best known for his nine-year stint on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” where he anchored the “Weekend Update” segment and helped cement its popularity. He has received critical acclaim for his work on the Showtime series “Weeds,” and he more recently co-starred on the CBS comedy series “Man with a Plan.” Nealon’s film appearances have included “Anger Management,” “Eight Crazy Nights,” “The Wedding Singer” and “Happy Gilmore,” and he produces and hosts the YouTube series “Hiking with Kevin,” interviewing his celebrity friends on hikes throughout the country.

Purchase your tickets at thecenterpresents.org.

It was a bucket list interview for me. I’ve enjoyed the comedic talent of Kevin Nealon since his days on SNL. His timing and his energy are always on point, and his other artistic talent as a caricature artist is equally as impressive. If you haven’t already picked up a copy of Nealon’s book, “I Exaggerate: My Brushes with Fame,” I highly recommend that you do! This gorgeously illustrated project is a collection of full-color caricatures and funny, endearing personal essays about Nealon’s famous friends.

Janelle Morrison: Let’s talk about your book. I don’t think a lot of people realize how gifted you are. I’d like to learn more about when you realized you had this drawing talent and how you’ve been nurturing it all these years.

Kevin Nealon: I started drawing when I was just a kid. I love just doodling mostly, and throughout high school I would doodle and draw, but I never took a course. As I got older and was on SNL, as a matter of fact, I would sketch people sitting across the table reading over the [SNL] sketches. And if I wasn’t in the sketch, I would sketch whoever it was … [Chris] Farley, Dana Carvey, the host or whoever it was. I never really finished these caricatures of people — they were just quick pencil sketches. Then, a year or so before the pandemic, I was following different [caricature] artists on Instagram. I started emulating those people, and during the pandemic, I immersed myself in it.

JM: Your caricatures are really good! You capture the essence of your subject, and it’s really cool!

KN: Thank you. I used to love watching caricature artists at carnivals and fairs or wherever. The people I was with would get bored and go off to ride the rides, and I’d continue to watch these artists sketch people. As a kid, we lived in Germany for four years, and we would go to a lot of different places on vacation like Paris and Greece. My parents had their caricatures drawn by some Parisian artist. It was different from anything that I had seen. Those pastels hung on my wall in bedroom, side by side, and every night I’d go to bed and just kind of study them. That was like a 15-year study right there.

JM: I encourage people to go buy this book and to follow you on Instagram because it’s really cool stuff. And speaking of cool stuff, you — like many creatives post2020 — are utilizing different

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of The Center for the Performing Arts

mediums and technologies to produce unique and fun material outside of your known wheelhouses. For instance, your YouTube series, “Hiking with Kevin,” is a stitch! You’re actually doing my job, interviewing your friends and colleagues while hiking and enjoying fresh air. I love your “hikes” with all these various talented people, and because it’s not over produced, it’s so much more relatable. Tell me more about this project.

KN: Thank you. I’m glad you like that too. Well, my interviewing techniques are not as good as yours … all I can do is ask random and silly questions most of the time, but this started because I like to be outside to walk and hike. There’s a lot of canyons around L.A. to do that. I was hiking one day with friend and actor Matthew Modine. We’ve been buddies for a long time, and I called him and asked if he wanted to go for a hike. The hike was pretty steep, and we were both kind of out of breath. It was really kind of funny, and I thought we should be recording this and make it like a talk show. I posted that on Twitter and then started doing these little two-minute segments from different people. After a year or so, I expanded it and started a YouTube channel and made it like 15–19 minutes each segment.

JM: I was thinking about this the other night during the Oscars and would love your take on comedians nowadays and the future of stand-up comedy. I feel like the environment has changed dramatically since I first became familiar with you and your work. I grew up in the ’80s when some of the world’s finest comedians walked the earth. Currently, I feel like most comedians are either playing it too safe or they’re trying too hard to get noticed, streamed, shared, whatever. Since your currently touring, what have your experiences been like, and what are your thoughts?

KN: Well, it’s very important for people to laugh. It’s interesting, when I started doing [stand-up] in the ’80s, there weren’t a lot of comics. It was more of a novelty, and a lot of people had never been to a comedy club. Now, it’s very commonplace, and there’s a lot more comedians. Comedy is so subjective. I see a lot of comics out there, and I shake my head, thinking, “Wow, how are they able to keep doing this?” And they’re making a living and people are laughing, so it’s funny to those people but maybe not to you or me. I do think the outlook is good for the future of comedy. There’s a lot of

clever comedians out there, and it’s evolving all the time. When I started out, it was about setting up the punchline, and now it’s more about “attitude” and not so much about crafting jokes.

JM: What do you think has changed the most in stand-up routines?

KN: I don’t know if it’s a younger [generation] thing, but a lot of [stand-up] is so crass and vulgar. I don’t know if they’re going for the shock value, but there isn’t any [shock] value anymore because there’s so many people doing it. I like a good dirty joke as much as anyone, but it’s hard when I’m performing somewhere and they have an opener that’s really crass and it sets the tone for the rest of the night, you know what I mean?

JM: I, along with many others, are going to enjoy you when you come out to Carmel, Indiana. And I don’t want to give anything away that you’re going to say, but what can people expect from you?

KN: My comedy is always evolving, and it’s very conversational. I think a lot of people have told me that I’m very sensible. And I will say that even though I question the profane comics, my comedy has gotten a little dark in areas because it’s the things that I’m thinking about now and what’s in my head. I think the audience will have a good time … I know they’ll have a good time.

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John Stehr for Mayor:

A Vision for Zionsville’s Future

When John Stehr retired as the lead anchor for WTHR Indianapolis in 2019 after more than 42 years in broadcasting, he never imagined he would run for office. Shortly after retiring, Stehr joined the Zionsville Parks Board, where fellow board members quickly elected him an officer.

park amenities in a fiscally responsible manner. Serving on the Parks Board has given him a unique look inside Zionsville’s government and the challenges it faces.

“There has been a massive breakdown in communications in our town hall. It has hurt Zionsville’s reputation and caused real damage — like the downgrading of our credit rating,” Stehr said. “Poor communication has gotten us into this mess. Good communication will lead us out. I’m a professional communicator, and I have the skillset to help.”

Stehr announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Mayor of Zionsville in October 2022. Over the past six months, he has personally visited the

because I think we can do better at planning the road ahead and creating the Zionsville that we all want to see,” Stehr said.

Earlier this year Stehr unveiled “Zionsville 2040” —a comprehensive plan for the next 15 years. Stehr’s “Zionsville 2040” includes specific goals in three priority areas: Public Safety, Growth and Economic Development, and Marketing and Communication.

“I have a vision for Zionsville’s future, one where we restore faith in town government by getting our finances in order, making sure that public safety stays ahead of the rapid growth, and competing for our share of central Indiana’s


economic activity while preserving the small-town charm and character that is uniquely Zionsville,” Stehr said. “The goals and priorities outlined in my ‘Zionsville 2040’ plan are how my administration will achieve it.”

In March, Stehr announced that he will appoint longtime local business leader and advocate Kate Swanson as his deputy mayor. He described the unprecedented announcement as a natural extension of the transparency he wants to share with the people of Zionsville.

“Kate is passionate about growing and improving our community both locally and statewide. She is deeply connected in Zionsville. Her experience in both the public and private sectors will make her the perfect partner in moving Zionsville forward.”

Stehr and his wife, Amy, recently celebrated 20 years of marriage (spending their anniversary at the Boone County Women’s Club Candidate Forum). The Stehrs share five children, all of whom grew up in Zionsville. Their youngest is

a Junior at Zionsville Community High School. “I want to give back to the town that’s given me and my family so much,” Stehr said, “by helping it prosper for our neighbors and their families — and future generations who choose to build a life here.”

You can learn more about John Stehr and his vision for Zionsville by visiting www.JohnStehrForMayor. com or following the campaign on Facebook and Instagram. The Republican Primary is Tuesday, May 2, 2023. Early voting in person is available beginning Tuesday, April 4. More information about voting can be found at www.IndianaVoters.com.

19 ZIONSVILLE MONTHLY MARCH 2023 Learn more about John’s vision for Zionsville. JohnStehrForMayor.com Vote John Stehr for Mayor Republican Primary | Tuesday, May 2, 2023 Paid for by John Stehr for Mayor
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Colts Special Teams Coach Brian Mason:

From ZCHS to NFL

This month, Zionsville Monthly is pleased to feature 2005 Zionsville Community High School graduate Brian Mason on our cover. Mason recently joined the Indianapolis Colts’ organization as its Special Teams Coordinator. Mason’s parents still reside in Zionsville, and we thought we’d take this opportunity to shine a light on this former ZCHS Eagle’s rise to the NFL.


Mason’s journey began on the ZCHS field playing under former Eagles coach Larry McWhorter.

“Coach McWhorter is a great person and leader,” Mason said. “He led the right way, you know? He never cursed, was very discipline-oriented and led by example. I look back on it now and appreciate it even more than maybe I did in high school.”

When asked if football had always been Mason’s big dream, he replied, “Probably like a lot of kids, stereotypically, that grew up in Indiana, I loved basketball. I didn’t necessarily think football was my top sport or favorite sport but that [passion for football] had a lot to do with how successful the [ZCHS] football program

was and how good of a coach McWhorter was. By my sophomore year, I had figured out that football is my favorite sport, and we had so much success, and his program was so well run; it was kind of hard not to have fun and fall in love with it.”


We asked Mason what he appreciated most about growing up in Zionsville.

“Zionsville’s great,” Mason said. “It’s a smaller suburb, but you’re close to Indianapolis. I know it’s certainly grown, but it’s certainly not the scale of Carmel and some of its other neighbors. The Main Street area is unbelievable, you know. It’s unique, and there’s a lot of great activities where people get together — especially on the 4th of July holidays, where you can

have a good time. The people that I went to school with — kindergarten through senior year of high school — were the same group of friends throughout the entire time. So, it’s just kind of a unique community as far as that goes.”


Mason’s story is the classic example of a coach who worked hard, climbed the ladder and made it to the top. Though Mason shared that he did not go into coaching in 2006 with the aspiration of coaching for the NFL.

Injury issues that began at ZCHS followed him into college, and at just two years into his playing career, Mason took to the sidelines as a student coach for NCAA Division III Denison and spent his first three seasons coaching defensive line full time at Division III Bluffton. In 2012, Mason accepted a graduate assistant’s position at Kent State and continued to advance as a graduate assistant at Purdue University and later Ohio State before finding himself at the University of Cincinnati as the director of recruiting. Mason’s last collegiate college coaching position was Special Teams Coordinator for the University of Notre Dame in 2022.

Mason observed that one of the most important ingredients of success is to have the support of one’s family and peers, and throughout Mason’s professional growth, he has undoubtedly received that from his professional contacts and most certainly from his family. Mason’s wife, Rachel Stark-Mason, was working at the NCAA in downtown Indianapolis at the same time he was working in Cincinnati. The couple split the commute for two years, proving that if something’s worth it … you’ll work for it.

“When we first met, I was working at Purdue,” Mason recalled. “And then I went to Ohio State and then to Cincinnati. We lived in Oldenburg in Southeast Indiana. She commuted about an hour and 10 minutes one way, and I commuted about 45 minutes in the opposite direction.”

At this point in his career, Mason had worked with some great coaches and had coached some great players. But he had never been in the NFL … until now. And he’s ready for the challenge.

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of Indianapolis Colts

“I knew back in middle school that I wanted to work in sports,” Mason shared. “I didn’t know exactly what that meant at that time — if that meant coaching or the business [of the sport]. I knew that it did not mean playing, and I never had dreams of playing professionally. I was pretty well grounded in knowing that my athletic abilities were not that strong. I knew that I loved football and grew attached to the team aspect and really enjoyed the coaches. And once I got into college, I knew I wanted to get into coaching and pursue that more.”

When asked what qualities Mason picked up from former ZCHS Coach McWhorter, Mason thoughtfully replied, “Honesty … you have to be very straightforward and honest with the guys about where they are. That gives them a clear path about where they should go or what they should do.”

As Mason was collecting knowledge and experience at each of the universities he coached at, Mason never “dreamt” of coaching in the NFL, least of all his home

last collegiate coaching post was Special Teams Coordinator at the University of Notre Dame when the opportunity for him to become the Colts’ Special Teams Coordinator was presented.

“I had never dreamed of being in the NFL,” Mason said. “That wasn’t necessarily something that was an end goal or objective when I started off coaching on the small college level. I was just taking each opportunity as it came. Then the Colts approached me — the only NFL team that has ever contacted me — and I was like, ‘Wow — OK!’ And it’s been pretty

surreal and very exciting. We — my family — feel blessed, and I just look forward to taking advantage of the opportunity the best that I can.”

When asked what his goals for the upcoming Colts’ season are, Mason shared, “I am looking forward to maximizing my role as Special Teams Coordinator to the best of my ability and to getting the absolute best out of our players, to play above their God-given abilities. They’ve been really successful on special teams, and I am looking to continue moving that forward.”

∙ 2006–2007: Student Assistant, Denison University

• 2009–2011: Defensive Line, Bluffton University

• 2012: Graduate Assistant, Kent State

• 2013–2014: Graduate Assistant, Purdue

• 2015–2016: Graduate Assistant, Ohio State

• 2017: Director of Recruiting, University of Cincinnati

• 2018–2021: Special Teams Coordinator, University of Cincinnati

• 2022: Special Teams Coordinator, University of Notre Dame

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Jane Burgess for Zionsville Mayor

A Proven


Exceptional leadership and a passion for community service are two of Jane Burgess’ many qualities that make her not only a remarkable member of the Zionsville community but also the ideal candidate for mayor.

Jbeen married to her husband Claude for 31 years.

Together, they are parents to two adult children: Kristin and Thomas.

The relationships that Jane has forged over the past two decades have provided deep roots throughout the community as well as a greater level of awareness of what people need and expect from their local elected officials in terms of knowledge and leadership.

“As mayor, I will be a champion of the community,” Jane expressed. “My 20+ years of experience leading organizations

proving the town’s financial status, its bond rating, and our overall reputation. “I am running for mayor because I want to make sure that what makes Zionsville unique and special endures,” Jane stated. “And because I believe Zionsville deserves better. If I have the honor of being elected as mayor, my first order of business is to get our financial house back in order. We need to restore the trust, transparency, collaboration and cooperation between the town council, the town departments and the mayor’s office in order to move Zionsville forward.”

Photography // Jonathan Hawkins

Jane has outlined plans [available for review on her website] for economic development, public safety, infrastruc ture and the implementation of critical training, such as cybersecurity for all town employees. Jane plans to strength en not just the town’s internal commu nications but also its in-house processes — specifically financial — to ensure better practices, accountability and transparency of its financial positions going forward.

“Without a doubt, the town’s leader ship needs to be working together and working efficiently in the spirit of growth and prosperity,” Jane emphasized. “I will bring the vision to get us moving forward in the right direction again.”

Jane added, “While it is important to preserve our thriving Main Street and the charm that makes Zionsville special and unique, I recognize the importance of smart economic development and diversifying our tax base. We will focus on filling Creekside Corporate Park and we will explore the many other areas


in our 67 square miles — including the land surrounding the airport and Perry Township — to bring good jobs and improve our quality of life. Zionsville IS open for business.”

While Jane is ready to take immediate action on day 1 if elected mayor, she is also looking beyond the horizon with an understanding that this election will have lasting effects on Zionsville’s future.

“I am excited for what lies ahead for Zionsville and for what it can become,” Jane said. “It is such an amazing place, and with smart economic development, planning, transparency and collaborative efforts, we can make Zionsville an even better place to live, learn and work — a place that our kids and young people will want to come back to and raise their families.”

For more information on Jane Burgess for Zionsville Mayor, including in-depth details on her Plan for Smart Development & Jobs, Public Safety Support, The Gateway Project and Beyond, Traffic and Infrastructure and more, visit janeforzvillemayor.com.

• ELECTED 3 times to the Zionsville School Board, serving for 12 years.

• Currently on the Boards of Zionsville Lions Club and Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library Foundation

• Serves as an Elder at Zionsville Presbyterian Church

• Bachelor’s Degree from Purdue University and Master’s Degree from West Chester University

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