Our latest Vibrant Person is Craig Gibson!!!
There are lots of people who have a bunch of ideas. Craig Gibson is one. Craig is also one of those rare individuals that take those ideas and makes them happen. Quite often, it is those of us in Elkhart County who benefit from what Craig comes up with.
This weekend is a great example. “Good Night and God Bless: The Red Skelton Story” has its world premiere at the Lerner Theatre in downtown Elkhart. It tells the story of one of America’s iconic entertainers.
Red Skelton is a Hoosier. He was born in Vincennes, Indiana, but he left home at age 10. He traveled with a Medicine Show and then hit the vaudeville circuit at age 15. He became a fixture on radio and television during the “golden age” of each.
Craig became interested in Mr. Skelton when he saw an exhibit about him as part of a mobile museum that traveled the state for Indiana’s sesquicentennial. In conversation with Jack and Laura Smith, Craig learned they had been friends of Red and his wife.
An idea had sparked and Craig was off and running. He visited the Red Skelton Museum in Vincennes and met with Mrs. Skelton. There was a story to be told and Craig knew the best way to share Red’s life was on stage.
That Craig chose to write a play should not be a surprise. As the Executive Director of Premier Arts, Craig’s involvement in theatre is extensive. Craig knew that the Red Skelton Story could and should be told by Premier Arts. The opening is tonight, Friday, October 11. Mrs. Skelton will be here to see it.
The musical is a celebration of a performer’s life. It is the culmination of hours of research and writing. The show is very much collaborative effort. Three different actors will play Red Skelton to cover the years he had on stage, screen, radio, and tv. You should go. You will enjoy it.
Craig speaks fondly of Elkhart. He says you can have world-class experiences right here at home. He also likes the can-do attitude people have and their willingness to bring ideas to life. “I am thrilled to be part of this,” he tells us.
We are happy for that. We are happier still that Craig Gibson is helping make Elkhart County the vibrant place it has become.