The Indiana Repertory Theatre presents a play featuring history, a baseball great and lessons of how to handle bullying as the first production for the new year.

"Jackie and Me" highlights Jackie Robinson's courage and dignity in the face of cruel racial prejudice during his baseball career. The play takes the stage in Indianapolis from Jan. 11 through Feb. 16.

The production follows Joey Stoshack, who needs to learn how to control his temper and not give in to bullies. When Joey finds himself in need of a topic for a school report, he chooses Jackie Robinson - and finds the answer to his temperament issues, an IRT release said.

Joey also finds an amazing skill - he can travel back in time. Holding onto a baseball card from 1947, he travels back to meet one of the most influential baseball players in history. Before long, Joey finds himself in Branch Rickey's office on the day Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Only now Joey finds himself facing the same taunts that Jackie Robinson had endured. With Jackie as his role-model, Joey learned to face bullies without losing control and stooping to their level.

This tale of an American icon, based on a young adult novel by Dan Gutman, brings to the stage the struggles and courage it took for Jackie Robinson to become the baseball player and man of courage that he was.

The production's cast includes Ryan Artzberger, Jennifer Johansen, Rob Johansen, Joseph Mervis, Robert Neal, Beethovan Oden, Lanise Antoine Shelley and Brett Wainscott. Courtney Sale serves as the director for the performance.

Jackie Robinson's powerhouse contribution to the game he loved, and to the American civil-rights movement, are well-chronicled in Steven Dietz's play for youth, Jackie and Me, opening on the Indiana Repertory Theatre Upperstage, 140 W. Washington St.

Performances on Fridays begin at 7 p.m. Actors perform two shows on Saturdays beginning at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. The play lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Tickets are available from $25 to $55, with prices varying based on the day, time and seat selection. For tickets or information, call the ticket office at (317) 635-5252 or online at