Delphi Opera House
Winner of the 2017 Cook Cup for Outstanding Restoration
In collaboration with Indiana Landmarks
Sponsored by Frank and Katrina Basile
Reception will follow the Performance
On April 7, 1882, the Lathrope & Ruffing Opera House in Delphi, Indiana, had its grand opening. The Litta Grand Opera Company from Chicago performed to a packed house of 500. The opera house was in constant use-often with two or three performances per week – but by the 1910s the Delphi Opera House was showing its age. Motion picture theaters were coming into vogue and third-floor performance spaces were losing appeal. The final blow came in 1914, when the Delphi Opera House was condemned as an unsafe structure. Eight-two years later, the Delphi Preservation Society purchased the building and began the long journey of restoring the historic theater to its previous glory.
David Matlack attended his first storytelling event in 1990, where he heard Jay O’Callahan. He found himself slowly introducing the use of stories while visiting schools as a veterinarian. Many years later he continues to tell stories as a member of the Bloomington Storytellers Guild. David won first place at the 2016 Liar’s Contest on opening night of the Indiana State Fair, told ghost stories at Crown Hill Cemetery and told an Indiana State Park adventure for Two Truths and a Lie at McCormick’s Creek State Park and Pokagon State Park during the summer of 2017. David is on the faculty of the IU School of Medicine in Bloomington and is a breeder of fine Arabian horses.
Indiana Landmarks and Storytelling Arts of Indiana developed the If These Walls Could Tell series in 2011 with generous support from Frank and Katrina Basile. These original stories inspired by historical Indiana buildings are about the people who have built, lived, worked, gathered and restored these vintage places.
Visit StorytellingArts.org after Dec. 1, 2017, for more details about the story.