There are moments when life hands you life changing opportunities and adventure. This summer, thus far, has been full of such moments. For the past month I have found myself living at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Bozeman, Montana where I am working for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. I was lucky enough to have a friend recommend me for the job, and on a whim I agreed to spend a summer out here in the rugged west. Without question, this was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Faced each morning with a 360 degree view of endless mountain peaks, I walk every day to the costume shop where I work as a stitcher. It is a heavenly job, better than anything I could have ever dreamed of. Each day is brimming with new things to make and construct, and I am constantly excited by every project that falls into my lap. I sew ten to fifteen hours a day, and every morning I wake up excited to make more.
But beyond the work that I love so much, what makes this place so incredible is the people. Coming together from across the country, the staggeringly varied backgrounds of the actors and crew makes this place one of the most exciting and rich jobs I have ever worked. There is constant laughter and energy here, a buzzing excitement that together we are creating art, and an understanding that we could not make this work without everyone’s most dedicated efforts and full commitment of time.
This place is a reminder of why I love theater, that no matter how deep I fall into the art world I am still inexorably drawn to the fierce passion and commitment that people bring to the stage. It is a melding of our combined joys and talents, and watching costumes that I have made be brought to life by a talented and dedicated company of actors is one of the greatest joys I will ever experience.
If you live in or near Montana you can find a calendar of dates and locations where the company will be performing throughout the summer here.
Behind-the-scenes images from the Romeo and Juliet promotional photo shoot. Featuring actors Rebecca Hurd and Casey Hoekstra.