Acting in the Eye of the Storm

INDIANAPOLIS — All actors can tell you exactly when they were bitten by the theater bug.

For Greenfield native Frankie Bolda, it was during a live performance of “Peter Pan” she saw with her Girl Scout troop at the age of 7 or 8.

“Seeing actors fly and realizing that Peter Pan was actually a woman was tremendous and inspiring, …a feeling I never got from television or films,” Bolda said. “After the show, the actors did a meet and greet in their costumes, telling us that performing and practicing for this show was their job and that people paid them to do it. (That) was an idea that didn’t go away easily.”

Growing up in Greenfield, Bolda acted every summer in Hancock County Children’s Theater productions. In high school, she was heavily involved in Greenfield-Central High School’s drama program, participating in 18 different productions over the course of her four-year high school career.

Following high school, she applied on a whim, was accepted and attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City to better her skills as an actress.

Bolda completed the two-year certification program and came back home to Indiana to finish her education.

Since moving back to Indiana, she’s had the good fortune to work with a cross-section of some a variety of theater and performance groups in Indianapolis: Hoosier Bard Productions, Defiance Comedy, ComedySports Indianapolis, and currently, Eclectic Pond Theatre.

Based in Irvington, Eclectic Pond Theatre has energetically taken on the colossal endeavor of bringing the works of Shakespeare and other playwrights to a new and younger audience. Given the convoluted plot lines of so many of Shakespeare’s works, that’s no easy task.

In Eclectic Pond’s adaptation, Shakespeare’s play becomes “The Tempest: Adrift in Time,” which takes place in 1937 as America’s sweetheart, Prosprina Milan (played by Joanna Winston), actress, philanthropist, aviatrix, and heir to the great Milan fortune, prepares to be the first woman to fly solo around the world.

All goes according to plan until, in the final hours of the flight, her plane disappears somewhere over the fabled Bermuda Triangle, a place where time seems to stop, electronics malfunction, and nothing is as it seems.

As America mourns its favorite daughter, the audience follows the twisting plot to gradually learn where Prosprina is and what becomes of her.

Bolda’s character, Ariel, is a spirit who is a servant to Prosprina and is forced to do her bidding.

“With makeup help from the skillful eye of Daniel Klingler and the vision of our director, Carey Shea, Ariel becomes this creepy, wonderful, layered character,” Bolda said.

Since high school, Bolda has been fascinated by Shakespeare, his language, his characters and his stories.

“Shakespeare knew people. Once you get a feeling for the poetry of his speech, the stories are truly about human relationships — and isn’t that what all good stories are about?” she said.

As for “The Tempest: Adrift in Time,” named for a storm, Bolda assures it’s a comedy.

“It ends in a wedding, and nobody dies!” she said.

The play, which also features an original musical score by Paige Scott, runs at Playground Productions Studio at 5529 Bonna Ave, No. 10, in Indianapolis from Feb. 20 to Mar. 7, with evening performances at 8 p.m. and the March 1 matinee at 5:30 p.m.

More information is available by calling 317-207-2080 or by visiting eclecticpond.org.