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

Tickets are now available for Indian Valley Theatre’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 happily introduces Darren Whaley playing the part of Aarvid Gisselsen, a slick, fast-talking salesman who arrives at a bar in Bunyan Bay, Minnesota and turns the locals’ lives upside down by promising to bring romance into their lives through the ‘magic’ of karaoke!!

Darren is not new to IVT or the Theatre. In high school, at West Aurora, he appeared in several musical productions including “Grease” and “South Pacific”. He has also been seen in “Wizard of Oz”, “Alias Smedley Pewtree” and “Christmas Chaos” with IVT. Darren decided to audition for “Don’t Hug Me” because he loves “Music Man” and the similarities he discovered between the two shows. “I think IVT has chosen an excellent direction in which to go, with their choice of “Don’t Hug Me”. It takes a fresh look at the modern musicals of today and is less traditional than what we are accustomed to”, Darren explained. “All the cast is excellent to work with and were well- chosen by the directors for their specific roles. We really gel and it has already been a lot of fun! I would really like everyone to come and enjoy all the toe-tapping music written by Sven Yorgensen”, he humorously stated.

Darren also added, “The role of Aarvid is interesting, because he is a bit more emotionally complex than any previous character I’ve played, and one with whom I don’t have much in common. In fact, about the only thing we do have in common is our love for singing.”

Darren is a Quality Assurance Manager in Sugar Grove and lives in Newark with his wife Linda, 2 dogs and 5 cats who encourage him on a daily basis and listen to him practice his lines. His hobbies include fishing, model trains and beer brewing.

Come meet Darren Whaley and all the other cast members and leave laughing until the spring thaw at IVT’s production 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 $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