A local nonprofit company works to bring together two (seemingly incompatible) interests of mine: theater and nature. Toby Mulford introduced me by e-mail to the Traveling Players Ensemble, a summer theatre camp for middle and high schoolers based in Great Falls:
Our mission is to bring great theatre into the great outdoors. In achieving this mission, TPE is guided by several beliefs:
- an appreciation of nature. TPE strives to link theatrical work to nature by rehearsing and performing outdoors and by producing plays in which nature is a dominant theme;
- an ensemble is an ideal structure in which to foster creativity and a sense of community. TPE’s educational programs work intensively with small ensembles, thereby ensuring personalized attention and significant growth as an artist;
- artistic creation is fundamental to forming one’s identity, especially for teens in their unique and complex transition between childhood and adulthood.
American Theatre magazine, in its back page interview, usually puts the question, “It’s not theater unless…” And I just realized that my answer to the question is “… you can make it work outside.” (This is why I love what Hard Bargain Players does.)
Mulford’s note to me says that the company has these festivals scheduled for the summer:
- 16 July at Madeira School: The Miser, The Learned Ladies, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- 6 August at Riverbend Park: Love’s Labour’s Lost
- 13 August at Madeira School: The Miser, The Learned Ladies, and The Fake Madwoman
I think I might have to collect Leta and check them out.