Bryan Fonseca, Independent Voice in Indianapolis Theater, Dies at 65

Bryan Fonseca, Independent Voice in Indianapolis Theater, Dies at 65


“We won’t put anyone — actors, crew, volunteers and, most importantly, you — at risk,” Mr. Fonseca wrote to his audience in a Facebook post announcing the cancellation. A month later, the theater returned with a second outdoor production, Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm’s “Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies,” which concluded on Aug. 30.

Mr. Fonseca was quoted as saying in The New York Times in July that it was important to find ways to stage theater during the pandemic. “We’d rather go down creating good theater than die the slow death behind our desks,” he said.

He became sick in August, Ms. Schwartz said, but it was unclear how he contracted the virus. He died at an Indianapolis hospital.

Bryan Douglas Fonseca was born on Oct. 10, 1954, in Gary, Ind., to Manuel and Aggie Fonseca. His father was a railroad worker, his mother a homemaker.

After graduating from William A. Wirt High School, Mr. Fonseca became the first in his family to attend college, studying sociology and theater at Indiana University Northwest in Gary, where he also started a storefront theater. He moved to Indianapolis in 1978. He received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis.

He is survived by his father; his brothers, Kevin and Bob; and a sister, Hollye Blossom.

Mr. Fonseca had a penchant for loud shirts, authentic Day of the Dead art, puppies, the music of John Prine and Christmas music (which he felt could start in as early as August). He was also a taskmaster, Ms. Blossom said.

“If you were going to be in a play with him, you were going to work,” she said. “But after he got done yelling, everyone would go out for tequila together.”



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