Library to host Montana Repertory Theatre

Coming to Lewistown Public Library on Sunday, Oct. 9, at 3 p.m. is Montana Repertory Theatre’s Educational Outreach Tour with this year’s show: “Brontë to the Future!” Written by playwright Laramie Dean. This funny and engaging comedy features Emily and Charlotte Brontë and their most beloved characters, Jane Eyre, Edward Rochester, Catherine and Heathcliff, as they travel forward in time to the future. Played out by only two actresses, the 55-minute play features puppetry, vocal recordings, and theatrical effects.

The Brontë sisters, Emily and Charlotte, having told their most well known tales—”Wuthering Heights” and “Jane Eyre”, respectively—now want to leave the past behind and explore a future time in order to see what will happen to their characters in a more contemporary setting. “Brontë to the Future!” is a mashup that places the Brontës’ beloved Jane and Rochester and Catherine and Heathcliff in the world of today—and possibly tomorrow—while retaining all the romance and Gothic splendor of the original stories.

Playwright Laramie Dean is a Montana native, born and raised on a ranch in northeastern Montana. His move to Missoula in high school allowed him to take drama classes at Hellgate High School, opening up an entire theatrical world of possibilities. Laramie earned his BFA in acting from the University of Montana before moving across the country to work on his Ph.D. in playwriting at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Laramie is currently enjoying his dream job as the Drama Director right back at Hellgate High School, where he has recently written and directed adaptations of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Frankenstein.”

Director John Kenneth DeBoer is an Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of Montana in Missoula, where he heads the Performance and Practice curriculum. He taught previously at the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University, where he earned his MFA. He has worked professionally as an actor (AEA) and vocal coach across the country and has directed frequently for the School of Theatre and Dance.

This presentation follows in the Montana Rep’s Educational Outreach Tour tradition of bringing staged selections of the works of acclaimed historical writers to Montana communities. Established in 1967, Montana Repertory Theatre has become one of the most respected professional touring companies in the country today. Montana Repertory Theatre has operated under the artistic direction of Greg Johnson, a member of the Performance and Practice Program in the University of Montana’s School of Theatre and Dance, for the past twenty-six years.

This year’s performance of “Brontë to the Future!” will be Oct. 9, at 3 p.m. in the Upstairs Meeting Room. This Montana Repertory Theatre performance is sponsored by the Friends of the Lewistown Public Library and is free and open to the public.

Montana Repertory Theatre is funded in part by grants from the Montana Arts Council (an agency of state government). The Dramatists Guild and The Shubert Foundation, with support from the Montana State Legislature, the University of Montana, the Montana Cultural Trust, NorthWestern Energy, Dr. Cathy Capps, Dr. Sandy Sheppard, Jay Kettering, Gwen McKenna and Jean Morrison.

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