FORT PECK — The Fort Peck Theatre is presenting 'Wait Until Dark," in which a blind woman must use her wits to outsmart crooks and solve a mystery unfolding right before her eyes.
It's a theatrical adaptation of the 1967 film of the same name that featured Audry Hepburn, Alan Arkin, and Richard Crenna. The play will be performed on August 26, 27, and 28, and again on September 2, 3, and 4.
“We look for a show like 'Wait Until Dark' that's just a little different and a little smaller and something that is sort of a labor of love,” said Andy Meyers, artistic director for the theatre. “I think people are blown away by the art form because everyone…everyone knows movies, and everyone knows television a show, and everyone knows acting. But, then to see a live show blows people's minds away.”
Shelby Art is an actress from Boston, Massachusetts. She plays the lead role of Suzy Hendricks. “It's been intimidating, but so completely rewarding and fulfilling that has been worth every minute of it. And I haven’t let myself watch the movie so that I'm not intimidated by Audrey Hepburn, so I don't compare myself,” she said.
This production is different from the other shows the company has produced. It is a real-life black and white adaptation. Each actor is covered in gray makeup while the set is painted gray to portray a black and white movie. It is something that took a lot of work, mixing colors to match colorways on the stage. You would think it took an army, but there are only 10 on staff that interchange the sets throughout the summer.
Some of the actors in the productions have performed in notable Broadway shows, including Phantom of the Opera. Although the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council outsources elsewhere, they still seek local talent.
Harper Wesen is that talent. She’s from Glasgow. A young actress with dreams of one day being a doctor/actor. She’s learned valuable lessons in the theatre including self-confidence and projecting her voice when speaking, along with how to do her makeup, courtesy of Shelby.
“I got really excited when I heard I got this part. I was overjoyed. Acting is just playing another role in life” she said of her role as Gloria.
“If people get a chance to see this production, it's unique,” said Meyers. “I think that's what people can always expect in Fort Peck. So, it's a great little oasis out here. In the middle of nowhere, Montana.”
The most important aspect of the theatre is to spread the fine art tradition to an area that doesn’t have the necessary means to do so.
Fortunately, seasonal acting camps and summer theatre performances give youth the chance to dabble in the craft. The Fort Peck Theatre gives actors the opportunity to share their passions with others.
“People in Montana are unlike any others in the world, in that they are the kindest of people," said Shelby Art. She added, "I love coming back here and I will always come back here. It feels more like home more than home does.”
Click here to visit the theatre website for more information and a schedule of upcoming productions.
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