MAT play done in collaboration with state playwright network


September 27, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

The Montana Actors' Theatre logo adorns the door to the Little Theatre in Cowan Hall. MAT is working with Montana Playwrights Network to put on plays from playwrights around the state.

The Montana Playwrights Network and Havre's Montana Actors' Theatre are partnering together this season on the upcoming play "The Vorbit Incident."

The Vorbit Incident was written by Missoula playwright Jay Kettering and will be showcased on The Little Theatre stage Oct. 11,12, 17-19 and 24-26, directed by MAT's Marketing Director Andi Daniel.

Jay Pyette, the executive director of MAT and the northern highlands regional representative on the Montana Playwrights Network board of directors, said goal of the playwrights' network matches one of MAT's goals.

"One of our goals is to foster new writing, so I think this is a natural fit for us because we've always been about new writing," Pyette said. "Working with (the playwright network) is a great way to continue that, so I really see with 'Vorbit Incident' it's giving us the ability to help this playwright, to produce his work, to have it performed on our stage, which is cool and to see where it goes from there."

Pyette added that, as a playwright himself, he knows how hard it can be to get shows produced, and MAT is providing an opportunity there. 

"There were about probably 30 or so scripts submitted, I read them all and this one really struck me, I thought it was well-written." Pyette said. "I liked the content. It's an amusing script, it's clever, it's funny, and, on the practical side of things, it's an easier show to produce."

Playwrights, like Kettering, submit their scripts to Montana Playwright's Network, then the network farms out those scripts to producing theaters. 

Kettering said Montana Playwrights Network did a call-out for plays in 2018, so he submitted his full-length play, "The Vorbit Incident."

"I am very excited to have my play produced, and I have heard nothing but great things about MAT," Kettering said. "I am making a road trip to the Hi-Line, so I'm looking forward to that."

Kettering added that the Vorbit Incident, in a nutshell can be summarized as being about a misfit missileer who's working in a launch control capsule underground near Great Falls outside of Malmstrom Air Force Base. The play takes place in a 24-hour time span.

Montana Playwrights Network Director Pamela Mencher directed the Havre Daily News to the network's July newsletter for information. The newsletter said MAT's production of the play is what the networks hopes will be a regular event it is calling a Premiere Project.

"This event is the first of what we hope becomes an every-other-year project of the Montana Playwrights Network. The purpose of the (the network's) Premiere Project is to provide opportunities for playwrights to receive a fully realized production of their original scripts," the newsletter said.

The Montana Playwright's website said the purpose for the network is to nurture and support the development of playwrights, storytellers, writers, educators and their creative works in Montana and the United States.


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