Eighteenth Season Continues……
Another wonderful year of Starlight Mountain Theater is about to begin. This summer stock theater is a gem in Garden Valley. This will be the eighteenth year and going stronger than ever with determination to keep the theater open. There are new musicals and Starlight Mountain Theatre is the culmination of a life-long dream of R. Ed Davis and his wife, Jan, who is a choreographer. Ed spent seven years pursuing an M.F.A. Degree in Theatre.
Ed Davis now wants to give back to Boise County residents by planning to offer deep discounts using a driver’s license to show proof of residence in the county. Starlight wants everyone in the county to come and enjoy the open air theater by making it affordable for the local audience.
Every May the Davis’ hold their breath as the new season begins. They remember their first year in 2000 when a handful of people would come to the shows. Then as word got around they were able to fill the theater often. Working as a non-profit, they are able to stay afloat and pay small wages to the aspiring actors and actresses. .
It takes a lot to make the magic of theater come alive. Tina Hunsaker sews new costumes. Her big task this year is preparing for Beauty and the Beast. She has closely held secrets to the Beast costume and devises ways to keep actors cool in some of the heavier costumes, too. Her costumes complete the magic and character of the shows. Tina says she always appreciates donations of vintage clothing, fabric and especially fabric notions.
Sets are created by some of the workers that you will never see. Sets have to be simple enough to move quickly on and off the stage. Painting and sawing in front of the Starlight office has set creators bringing designs to life. One set designer used to be a summer stock actress and found she preferred being in the background creating the sets.
Many of the actors and actresses come from all over the country and use summer stock as a stepping stone to further the aspirations of being on Broadway. One of the prominent actors who will be in all six musicals is Roy Nichols the 3rd. He looks to honing his craft and maybe becoming “the next Hugh Jackman or being on Broadway.” He admits, “I look forward to the fun we have every year. The actors live here in the trailers they set up for us. We become like family.”
Besides the musical favorite such as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, last year’s knock it out of the park favorite, Sugar, is also returning. A new addition for only six performances in July is Starlight After Dark featuring Little Shop of Horrors, which is for a more adult audience. This show can be seen as a separate entry or stay for a double feature.
This gives a lowdown of the musicals starting dates with shows overlapping dates, too. Opening night on May 27 at 5:00pm is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, which includes dinner and a Meet and Greet the Actors. Beauty and the Beast is new this year and tickets are selling fast already. This musical opens June 10. Guys and Dolls opens June 24. On the Fourth of July weekend of July1st, 3rd and 4th is Always…..Patsy Cline. A favorite, Sugar, the Some Like it Hot musical, opens August 12.
A calendar and event rates and discount information are available on the website www.starlightmt.com or call 208-462-5523 or on their Facebook page. Boise County residents may be getting deep discounts with proof of county residence using driver’s license.