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Indian Valley Theatre – “DON’T HUG ME” – Cast Member Spotlight

Leave laughing until Spring at IVT’s next production, “Don’t Hug Me,” directed by Sharon Pagoria and Matthew Johnson, written by Phil and Paul Olson; with Book and Lyrics by Phil Olson; Music by Paul Olson; and rights by Samuel French.

Indian Valley Theatre would like to spotlight cast member Brad Shortridge playing the role of Gunner Johnson, the cantankerous, strong willed Bunyan Bay bar owner, a kind of north woods Archie Bunker, who wants to sell the business and move to Florida. Brad says, “I like the role of Gunner because he is rough around the edges but has a very passionate side…just like myself. I also like the story line, which is lighthearted and not too serious.”

Brad made his IVT debut just recently as Donovan, The Director, in “Christmas Chaos” but is not new to acting or directing. He has appeared in many productions such as, “Once Upon a Mattress”, “The Crucible”, “South Pacific” and “A Bad Year for Tomatoes” throughout Indiana and Wisconsin at several well-known Theaters; The Muncie Civic Theatre, Guyer Opera House, Bundy Auditorium and the Kjer Theater. Some of his directing credits include, “The Great High School Whodunit” and “Lone Star.”

Brad explained why he auditioned; “My wife saw the excitement that I had during IVT’s last show, doing something outside of work and family that I really enjoyed and loved doing in the past, so she encouraged me to audition for “Don’t Hug Me.” He enjoys singing “Snowmobilin’ Man” and “Upside Down in My Pick-Up Truck”, as well as, other musical numbers. Brad says “I am having a blast as part of the cast of “Don’t Hug Me” and a member of IVT. This small community theatre group has a lot of spectacular talent and “Don’t Hug Me” is tons of fun.”

Dr. Bradley Shortridge is currently the Assistant Superintendent at Genoa-Kingston Schools District #424. He has taught Speech, English, Theater Television Production, Social Studies and P.E and has coached speech/debate, basketball, track, softball and football. He and wife Rebecca, have 2 children; Jackson, a student @ North Carolina State University and Riley, a student at Genoa-Kingston High School (who also recently appeared in “Christmas Chaos”). He enjoys running outside, but only when it is warm in nice summer weather.

Come meet Brad and all the other cast members of “Don’t Hug Me.”  Performances are Friday, February 24 at 7:30pm, Saturday, February 25 at 7:30pm and Sunday, February 26 at 2:00pm at the Historic Sandwich Opera House, 140 E Railroad St. in Sandwich, IL. Tickets are now available for $15 each and can be purchased online, at the Sandwich Opera House, or at the door.

For questions or more information, please email  or contact IVT at 888-365-8889. Indian Valley Theatre is an Illinois Not-for-Profit organization dedicated to the appreciation and development of the performing arts in the Fox Valley area. Visit IVT’s website @

Indian Valley Theatre