Community Theater Celebrates 30 Years

By Beacon Staff

As community theaters go, Whitefish Theatre Company has been around a while. In fact, they are celebrating three decades of live stage productions this season. “Not that many performing arts groups in Montana have been around that long,” says Carolyn Pitman, Executive Director of Whitefish Theatre Company. “We’re pretty proud that we’re here.”

The theater company plans to celebrate with a picnic on Sept. 4 in Depot Park before the Waifs concert. “There are even a few tickets left for the Waifs,” adds Pittman.

To celebrate their 30th year, the theater company scheduled a lineup that includes classics as well as the unique. Their theatrical productions at the O’Shaughnessy Center begin in mid-October with Bus Stop, a 1950s play that takes place between strangers in a Midwest diner. The season’s family musical highlight features Peter Pan. “It’s a big undertaking,” says Pittman. In order to fly the cast, the company has contracted with a group to set up the harnesses for the production. Later in the season, the company will also stage the Tony Award-winning play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the comedy Fuddy Meers, and Annie Junior, the annual kids show.

The company has also scheduled an intriguing set of visiting dance and stage shows at the Whitefish Middle School Performing Arts Center. From the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, one of the preeminent dance companies in America, Ailey II bring its up and coming African-American modern dance talent to Whitefish during its tour across Canada. “We are happening to catch them,” says Pittman of the March 2 show. “They are a rare experience, and it’s even rarer to have that caliber of dance in Montana!”

The company is also bringing in the Fred Garbo Inflatable Theater Company in mid-October. The troupe uses huge inflatable props to augment acrobatics, mime, and juggling.

“We’re very excited,” sums up Pitman about the 30th season. “We have fun music and a great theater season lined up.”