Tim Leeds Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Two veterans of Havre’s Montana Actors’ Theatre are working together in a different environment this summer: Fort Peck Summer Theatre. “She’s a freshman, I’m a sophomore,” Martin Holt said Thursday about his fellow cast member Pam Veis. Both are performing in Fort Peck Summer Theatre’s production of Larry Shue’s work “The Nerd.” Their first performances were last weekend, and they are scheduled to perform again this weekend and the next. Holt said he performed in the Fort Peck production of “Barefoot in the Park” two years ago, but this is Veis’ first time working with the professional troupe at Fort Peck. The performance is familiar for Holt. He acted in MAT’s production of “The Nerd,” albeit in a different role, in February. Both Veis and Holt said the experience is rewarding, educational and a lot of fun. The environment is very different, they said. “In terms of the organization it is just amazing,” Holt said. “Montana Actors’ Theatre does not have the resources Fort Peck does, but the raw talent, I would say, is comparable. At MAT we don’t have a full-time paid crew.” The talent and experience at Fort Peck is extensive, Veis said. Of the seven-member cast, she and Holt, who play a married couple, and the Glasgow youth Craig Greenhagen, who plays their son, Thor, are the only Montanans. The rest of the cast and the director, Scott “Hambone” McGee, are theater professionals from out of state. “The talent of people on stage is just incredible,” Holt said. “It’s a cadre of fulltime actors.” He added that he thinks he and Veis are holding their own at the theater. “We haven’t been kicked off the stage yet,” he said. “Martin and I, we’re just having fun,” Veis said. Part of the fun includes washing dishes when they can they said Fort Peck Hotel had a couple of people quit while the Havre actors were in the town, and they have been helping out. “We’re having an adventure, Martin and I, our weekend adventures,” Veis said. Holt and Veis who are volunteers at the Fort Peck production have extensive amateur experience. Both acted in school productions when they were younger before joining MAT, and both have been acting for years with the Havre troupe. Holt said he has been averaging about three shows with MAT every year for seven years, as well as his performance at Fort Peck two years ago. Veis, who said she was directed as a youth by Missoula Children’s Theatre founder Jim Caron, got back into theater about 10 years ago acting at Montana State University- Northern. Then she got involved in MAT in about 1999, she said. Both said they got involved with Fort Peck Summer Theatre through Havreite Carly Booth, who performed at Fort Peck for several years. Holt said Booth recommended him for “Barefoot in the Park,” and Veis said Booth recommended her for this summer’s performance. “It is a huge compliment for me. I have a lot of respect for Carly,” Veis said. The work is good experience the two can use at MAT, Holt said. “We’re learning a lot of things we can bring back to our own organization,” he said. Holt said McGee is a very good director, very meticulous, very particular. Veis said she has learned a lot from McGee, adding working with him reminds her of when she worked with Caron as a child. He also is a very disciplined director, she said. Part of the difference between the troupes can’t really be brought home, however. Veis and Holt said Fort Peck’s having full-time paid crews for costuming, sets and props creates a whole different environment. Part of working at MAT includes helping build sets and providing props and costumes, Peck. “We are free to act,” he said. Veis said when she asks what she needs to bring or do behind the scenes, “We’ve been told Don’t worry about it, just act.’” The environment at MAT is a little more free and easy, they said. The crews are all friends, and are working in their free time and having fun. “When you enjoy it, you find a way,” Holt said. “The Nerd” is scheduled to open at 8 p.m. today and Saturday, with a 4 p.m. matinee on Sunday. The schedule is repeated the following weekend, the last runs of the show and for Fort Peck’s season. Ticket prices at the box office are $15 for adults and senior citizens, $10 for students (K to 12), and $5 for pre-school children. Senior citizens (age 62) may attend the Friday evening performance for $10. Tickets are available at the Theatre Box Office Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or one hour before show time. Tickets are also for sale, Monday through Friday, at the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. Reserved seats are available for an additional $5 by calling the box office at (406) 526-9943, Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.