List of Members

MEMBER THEATRES

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The Downtown Dance Collective in Missoula is a multi-functional art space for visual and performing artists to teach, perform and exhibit.  Their programs and services reach everyone, and serves every ability in the Missoula community.

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The non-profit Experimental Theatre Cooperative (ETC) supports the development of regional theatre artists, playwrights, and their work, producing an annual Play Fest in Helena, MT, called the Last Chance New Play Festival.

The Montana Actors’ Theatre (MAT) is a regional, non-profit theatre company operating in North Central Montana. Mainstage shows, children’s and youth programs, regional collaboration and educational outreach are all part of MAT’s identity.  MAT strives to provide cultural opportunities to a large, rural, underserved region comprised of an extremely diverse population.  Our aim is to create inclusive experiences through theatre, while partnering with and supporting other disciplines.  Currently, MAT produces a nine-month, eight-show mainstage season.  From large-scale musicals to cutting-edge dramas to original works, we offer something for everyone.  Education and enlightenment, through entertainment, is our ultimate goal. 

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Judith Mountain Players is a non-profit, community theatre organization that aims to educate, entertain, and engage our fellow citizens in the performing arts.  

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Located in Butte, Orphan Girl Children's Theatre is the only sustaining, operating theatre in Butte. Providing both children’s and community theatre, OGCT produces everything from new work to Disney musicals.

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The Rocky Mountain College Theatre Arts Department provides student-motivated performance and design opportunities and experiences. Smaller cohorts offer deeper exploration into any and all aspects of performative art, from acting to story creation to puppetry to all forms of design to stage combat and everything in between. The Department produces two mainstage shows each year along with student directed projects, community collaborations, and original works festival. rocky.edu/theatre and RMC Theatre Arts on Facebook.

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS

 

Pearl M. Allen

Pearl Allen graduated from Montana State University with a BS in Business – Accounting Emphasis in 1980. She performed financial-compliance audits of state agencies and universities for the Montana Legislative Auditor from 1980 to 2011. She has been treasurer for two nonprofits and performed bookkeeping duties for a nonprofit dance company.  Pearl presently serves as MPN’s Treasurer.

Rita Barkey

Rita is an award-winning playwright living in Missoula. To date, more than a dozen of her plays have been produced around the country.

Asta Bowen

Op-ed columnist and author of The Huckleberry Book and Wolf: The Journey Home. Asta thinks live theatre is the real "social media."

Julie Burrows

Last appearing in MPN's "From Page to Stage" in several roles, Julie is from Helena and has written and performed in radio plays and biennial sketch comedy. She is very happy and grateful to be able to support Montana playwrights and the Montana Playwrights Network's productions of original plays!

Cathy Capps

A retired orthopedic surgeon, Cathy has been an active participant in Colony since the summer of 2007, when she established a playwriting endowment in her mother's name. She has been a member of Zoola Playwrights since that time, participating in many group self-produced play festivals and individual new works. Most recently, Cathy has been frequently chosen to have her work read at the MT Rep's 4x4 and 5x5 Play Slams.

Shaun Gant

Shaun Gant is a Missoulian with Zoola Playwrights. Her work is published widely online, in journals, books and anthologies. She often collaborates with visual and theatre artists to write and produce shorts and full-length plays in Montana.

Joanne Morris Gores

Once I discovered the relationship between mental strength and writing, my focus on dialogue seemed unstoppable. I have grown to love playwriting. It is a great combination of movement, voice and word that is accessible to all.

Jayme C. Green

Jayme is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Certified Teacher/Certified Theatrical Firearms Instructor with the Society of American Fight Directors, and a Level 1 Curling Instructor with USA Curling. He has been involved in numerous productions locally, regionally, and nationally as an actor, director, writer, fight choreographer, stunt performer, designer and instructor. He is also a man of mystery and power, whose power is exceeded only by his mystery. And an accomplished parallel parker.

Deb Halliday

Deb is a community builder, writer, artist and Tantric yogini based in Helena, MT.  Deb works with communities to harness the creative spirit of groups who want to explore how, working together, we can have an impact on the communities we live in and the lives we share. She blogs at www.debhalliday.com.

Rob L. Holter

Robert has taught for the last 26 years at Helena High School. He has a BA in Theater, a BA in English Literature and Education, and a MA in Theater and an AA with certificate in Energy Technology from the University of Montana.  Mr. Holter Has taught many theater industry workshops in performing, lighting and sound, and is a current member of USITT, and IATSE Local 389, Great Falls Montana.  His screen credits include, PBS’ “Meet Christopher Parkening” and the feature film Amazing Grace and Chuck.”  Robert currently serves as the Vice President for MPN.

Janice A. Jamruszka-Wilson

Janice always appreciates a good story whether reading, writing or living them.  Her entire life has been driven by story.   Growing up on the Pine Ridge and Blackfeet Indian Reservations and her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in French, Spanish, and Elementary and Secondary Education have fueled her adult curiosity and passions in pursuit of story as traveler, teacher, editor and playwright.  Janice currently serves as the Secretary for MPN.

Margie Jenkins

”An Unrelenting Force You Cannot Ignore.” Once decided, a freight train couldn’t stop her! She defines “persistence” because SHE WILL ACHIEVE! Breaking athletic records in school, collecting debts no one else could, number reconciliation beyond question, out-performing people 35 years younger at Crossfit, and finding solutions where there are none. She will organize your personal life, save your small company, and dare to do many things you won’t.  

Leah Joki

Leah is an actor, writer and director. She has extensively taught in prison and was profiled in The Los Angeles Times, American Theatre Magazine and The LA Weekly. Credits include writing and performing PRISON BOXING, nominated for best Solo Performance in Los Angeles; her memoir, Juilliard to Jail, is in development with Joe Manganiello’s company; and plays include The Year of Baldwin, Sheets, The Poppovichs, The Big Picture and Time Will Tell. Recently she devised and directed the play FATHERS AND SONS with inmates in a maximum-security prison.

Clare José

At the Helena Avenue Theatre, Clare serves as Resident Stage Manager, part-time employee and dedicated volunteer. She developed her interest in theatre as a kid volunteering to sell concessions at the Myrna Loy Center, and worked there with the local Saturday Night Live troupe doing stage work and acting in different skits for over 15 years.

Terrence José

Terrence is making his debut with the Helena Avenue Theatre. Full of energy and creativity, he loves writing stories, inventing games, and playing sports. Having been introduced to theatre by his family, he was instantly hooked on learning as much as he could about productions. He's excited to be part of the crew! 

Joshua Karr

Mr. Karr is a writer from Mississippi.  He uses and draws from his chaotic past as a conduit for his stories and music. He formerly wrote for The Madison County Journal and WLBT in Jackson, MS. 

Jay Kettering

Jay is a native Montanan living in Missoula. His three-part radio series, "Notes From The Huntley Project," was produced by Montana Public Radio. To date, he has written four plays for the Montana Repertory Theatre’s Educational Outreach Tour, including "Raised in the Saddle: The Phantasmagorical Journey of a Future Rodeo Queen" in 2017. Samples of Jay’s work can be found at jaykettering.com.

Chantal Marie

Chantal Marie has written, directed and produced commercials, short films and stage plays. 


Brian Massman 

Brian Massman has worked professionally as an actor, director, playwright, videographer, film editor, and video projection designer. Brian is a native Montanan who has recently come home after working and lecturing in all of these fields in New York State.

Lloyd McKenna 

"Been onstage a lot in plays and as a cowboy poet. Have written over 150 poems. Am working on writing my first play."

Joan Melcher

Joan Melcher has written more than a dozen plays and screenplays. She has had many staged readings and two plays produced, in Butte and NYC.

Jordan R. Mencher

Jordan is a retired microbiologist, musician, composer/lyricist, storyteller, poet and playwright.  His creative works have been performed in Washington, DC, Colorado and Montana.  He also served as Colorado State Representative, Vice President and President of the Rocky Mountain Theatre Association and as Producing Director of the Roving Stage Theatre Company.

Pamela Jamruszka Mencher

Pamela returns to Big Sky Country after working as a college professor and arts advocate in Colorado.  She is an actor, director, producer, costume designer and playwright, with twenty-six of her plays performed throughout the United States; and has received many awards recognizing her playwriting, teaching and professional theatre careers.  Pamela currently serves as MPN’s President.

Ross Peter Nelson

Ross Peter Nelson’s most recent productions are a New Orleans premier of Becoming Number Six and the Montana production of Colter's Hell, an ecological Montana fable. His one-act, Zoloft Tango, won the Audience Favorite award at the Spokane Playwrights Forum. Ross's work has been produced in the US and overseas. Some of his ten-minute works are available from Heartland Plays. Ross is also the author of prize-winning short fiction and two technical books. He taught undergraduate playwriting in New Orleans, and he is a member of the Dramatists Guild. Ross served as playwright-in-residence at the Can Serrat artist’s colony in Spain during October 2017.

 

Steve Palmer

Steve is a performer/writer born and raised in Helena and one of the chief organizers of the Last Chance New Play Fest, now in its fifth year.

 

Bernadette Powers

The history of Bernadette's family is entwined with the history of Montana, from the arrival of her mother’s grandparents in Virginia City in 1864 and the immigration of her father’s parents from Ireland to work in the Butte mines to current family members living all across the state. She is a retired Social Worker, so now she can spend her time pursuing her first love, Montana history.

Glade Roos

Glade loves to write screenplays for a hobby (completed six so far) and is now venturing into playwriting. She resides in Helena and also enjoys painting.

Jeff Ross

A former high school English teacher, Jeff is interim director of English Teaching at the UM. An MFA in poetry, he has completed 2 plays.

William Scheaffer

William is a born and raised Montana Native American.  He loves to read and write, and participated in Leah Joki’s  DUI PROJECT in 2021.

Jackie Vetter

Jackie is a Theatre/Film Actor and Theatre Director based in Anaconda, Montana. Connecting through new works and storytelling is a passion of Jackie’s. www.jackiefreemanvetter.com.   

Greg Younger

Greg Younger's plays have had productions throughout the country. Awards include Best Play for Chrysalis at the 2021 Last Chance New Play Fest.