The Colton Darr Memorial Arts Fund
In May of 2020, Regional Performing Arts lost Colton Darr, one of our talented young actors. Colton had a condition called Long QT Syndrome that caused him to suffer a sudden cardiac arrest. After this loss, Regional wanted to take action to both honor Colt’s memory and continue his legacy by finding a way for students to participate in the performing arts who might not have the financial means to do so. Through a partnership with the Porter County Community Foundation, the Colton Darr Memorial Arts Fund was born. The goal of this fund is to raise an untouched principal of at least $10,000, which will result in roughly $500 of awardable monies each year to help students afford performing arts experiences wherever they may go. This goal was reached in November of 2021, and Colton’s Memorial Fund continues to grow and benefit young artists to this day.
Colt always had a huge personality, even from a young age. He was small but mighty as a young child, but grew to be almost 6’ tall by the time he was 14. He was known at home as ‘the king of stupid faces’ and had a knack for making people laugh without even trying. Colt first brought his comedy to the RPAC stage as the Mock Turtle in Alice in Wonderland, alongside his older sister Keegan who played Alice. He was fresh off his role as Mufasa in Lion King at Wheeler’s Bearcat Theatre, and he had caught the performing bug.
His next RPAC performance was one that wouldn’t soon be forgotten-King Sextimus the Silent in Once Upon A Mattress. For a kid who was rarely ever quiet, he was cast as a character who literally could not speak. This caused Colt to channel all his energy into the physical comedy of the role, much to the audience’s delight. His next show was once again at Bearcat Theatre where as a 7th grader he played Mr. Mayor in Suessical the Musical. He won ‘Most Improved’ for his efforts alongside a much more seasoned group of high schoolers. His final appearance on stage for RPAC was as Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid. A more serious role for him, he reached outside his comfort zone to dance with Ariel and sing a touching solo. Colt lent his talents backstage in one last RPAC show- Matilda – as a part of the stage crew. What came to be Colt’s last performance was as Detective H.D. in a comedic play called Law and Order Fairytale Unit at Wheeler. He was voted Best Male Lead in a play for this hilarious role. Colt also enjoyed watching live theater, and one of his favorites was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in Chicago. His dream role was to play Donkey in Shrek the Musical.
In addition to theater, Colt was a member of the Wheeler High School Bowling team and participated in a Saturday morning league at Inman’s. He loved attending Camp Odayin, a summer camp for kids with heart disease, and was looking forward to his 4th summer there. Colt knew everyone, and everyone knew him. He never met a stranger, and was always coming home with a story about a new friend he’d made. RPAC was no different, he made many lasting friendships on and off the stage.
Colt’s family – dad Mark, mom Cristina, brother Zane and sister Keegan- are grateful for everything RPAC offered Colt. Keegan is still an active member of RPAC, along with many of her friends. The family is so happy that this scholarship will help other kids participate in live theater, whether it be on stage, back stage, in the control room, or in the pit.
Colton’s Arts Fund Award Procedures
Applications for the Colton Darr Memorial Scholarship can be submitted online at https://forms.gle/qJCRxbXb9dyhmJ937
Regional Performing Arts hopes to award as many students as possible funds to help pay for their performing arts experiences. Applications are evaluated by a panel consisting of one Darr family member, one Regional Performing Arts board member, and one community member of Northwest Indiana. Awards will be mailed directly to applicant families. Applications are due by March 15th for review.
Contribute to Colton’s Arts Fund
Please consider donating to further this scholarship fund and share our progress with your friends and family. Thank you for your continued support.
Thank you to all of our generous donors who made this fund possible!
Dale and Joan Blount
Robin E Chubb
Benjamin & Katelyn Leonard-White
Teresa L Rivera
The DeJesus Family
Khenlee M McHargue
Bradley A Clapp
The Hippie Family
Tina M Fitchett
Donna J Surerus
Paisley Ann Daumer
The Darr Family
Bearcat Theatre Company