July 21-24, 2016 | Masquer Theatre


For two decades writers have been coming to Missoula to share their expertise, passion, and enthusiasm for writing.

Now we’re beginning a new chapter.

We’ve shared stories and knowledge in the beauty of Montana summers. Hundreds of plays have been read, and dozens have gone on to production on stages all across the nation.

This summer we’re taking a step back to examine who we are, what we do, and how we can best serve writers.

To this end, we’ve assembled a team of writers, directors, actors, designers, and local supporters to meet over a five-day period, reviewing past successes and planning our future efforts. As always, the Colony continues to encourage and support exciting new work by a diverse group of playwrights.

We hope you will join us as the Colony begins a new chapter in our 21st celebration of the playwright’s craft!

To learn more, please contact Salina Chatlain at (406) 243-6809 or by email.


Founded in 1996 by Michael Murphy, Marsha Norman, and Montana Rep Artistic Director Greg Johnson, the Missoula Colony is both a place and an idea. The Colony convenes at the University of Montana in Missoula, where five gorgeous Rocky Mountain valleys and three stunning rivers converge. Missoula is a place blessed with incredible natural beauty—a place where writers from all over the world gather to celebrate the art and craft of writing for the stage and screen.


Heather Benton is an actor/writer, choreographer, and director with a focus on physically vigorous composition. She has created original work for the undergroundzero festival and New York Fringe as well as the American Academy of Dramatic Arts Company, Kenyon College and Montclair State University. Heather is a company member of East River Commedia (Automotive, Serenade and Philosopher Fox, The Magnificent Cuckold), a frequent collaborator with Theatre Trouve (Living With Betty, Half Awake and Falling Through the Sky), and playwright Molly Rice (Blood of: Brothers and Sisters, Penance: Ghost of Don Juan, Dark Matter). Recent original work includes Chasing Immortality: A Performance Lecture (undergroundzero festival, 2014) and the world premiere of Tar Beach as an actor (Luna Stage, 2015). Acting credits include the American Repertory Theatre (Highway Ulysses, Children of Herakles), national tours with Montana Repertory Theatre (The Trip to Bountiful, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), A Contemporary Theatre, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Sierra Repertory Theatre, Village Theatre, Luna Stage, Book-It Repertory, and Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis. She holds an MFA in Acting from ART/MXAT. Heather is currently serving as the program coordinator of the BFA Acting Program at Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ, where she teaches and directs. She is also co-head of their New Works Initiative that commissions artist(s)-in-residence annually to create original work.

Samuel D. Hunter’s plays include The Whale (Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, GLAAD Media Award, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Play), A Bright New Boise (Obie Award, Drama Desk nomination for Best Play), The Few, A Great Wilderness, Jack’s Precious Moment, Rest, and Pocatello. His newest plays, Lewiston and Clarkston, are set to premiere in the 2015/2016 season. He is the recipient of a 2014 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, a 2012 Whiting Writers Award, the 2013 Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, the 2011 Sky Cooper Prize, the 2008 PONY/Lark Fellowship, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Idaho. His plays have been produced in New York at Playwrights Horizons, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Clubbed Thumb and Page 73, and around the country at such theaters as Seattle Rep, South Coast Rep, Victory Gardens, Williamstown Theater Festival, The Old Globe, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Denver Center Theatre Company, Marin Theater Company, and elsewhere. His work has been developed at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, the Ojai Playwrights Conference, Seven Devils, and PlayPenn. A published anthology of his work, including The Whale and A Bright New Boise, is available from TCG books. He is a member of New Dramatists, an Ensemble Playwright at Victory Gardens, a member of Partial Comfort Productions, and was a 2013 Resident Playwright at Arena Stage. A native of northern Idaho, Sam lives in NYC. He holds degrees in playwriting from NYU, The Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and Juilliard.

Kevin was born on the Blackfeet reservation in Browning, MT. His father was Blackfeet and his mother was Cree. He is a member of the Blackfeet tribe, hailing from Star School on the western side of the reservation. He graduated from Browning High School in 1985 and attended Haskell Indian Junior College in Lawrence, KS, before returning to Montana to enlist in the United States Navy in 1986. Kevin served in the Navy for four years, based on the USS Sacramento, in Bremerton, WA. He completed three tours overseas and one tour in the Desert Storm conflict. Kevin was honorably discharged from his service in the Navy with accommodations and an engineering certification. He moved back to Montana shortly after his discharge and began his greatest accomplishment: his family. He and wife Joni have six children. His priorities in life are his children and providing them with a loving, nurturing home and support system. Following his Title 7 and teaching bilingual education at the Browning High School (Blackfoot and English) and his bachelor’s Degree in Native American Studies and Anthropology, he graduated from the University of Montana in 2014 with a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. He is currently working at the Bridges program at the University of Montana assisting students on their path to a baccalaureate degree. Growing up with an absent mother, an alcoholic father and passed from home to home, facing abuse and neglect, Kevin has taken his hard childhood and turned it into something positive. He also gives motivational seminars about his childhood and how to take something traumatic and difficult and turn it into something powerful and meaningful. Kevin has been raised, lives and practices his native ceremonies, traditions, singing and dancing. He is an active member of many of the societies and bundles of the Blackfeet People. His passion for singing has brought him respect, acclaim and knowledge. His singing, sharing and teaching others has impacted and enriched many lives.

Chelsea currently holds a Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Fellowship at The Juilliard School in New York City. Her plays have had more than 50 readings and productions in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Minneapolis, as well as cities in Virginia, Louisiana, Kentucky, and North Carolina. She has taught in the English and Theatre departments at Virginia Intermont College and Emory and Henry College. Chelsea has been profiled as a premiere self-producing playwright in TimeOut Chicago and The Dramatist magazine, and was described as such by Todd London in his keynote address to the Dramatists Guild National Convention in 2011. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and The Playwrights Center.

Molly is a playwright, songwriter, and experience designer whose work has been developed/produced in NYC (the Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Rattlestick, Women’s Project, NYTW, New Georges) and nationally (American Repertory Theater, Montana Rep, Salvage Vanguard, Trinity Rep, Kitchen Dog, Perishable Theater, etc.). Her writing has been published in American Theatre magazine, Kenyon Review, Play: A Journal, Loose Change and Indie Theater Now, and by Clarkson Potter Press, Heinemann Press, and Perishable Press, among others. Commissions include NYU/ Tisch MFA Acting Program, New Georges, Montclair University and The Drilling Company. Honors and awards include Brown University’s Weston Prize, Women’s International Theater Festival, the New York Innovative Theater Awards, and the Montclair State/Pace New Works Initiative. Recent productions: Futurity the Musical at ART (Cambridge, 2012) and Soho Rep (NYC, 2015), with the band The Lisps; A Doll House (in a Doll House) exclusively on Facebook, December 2015; and The Saints Tour, a site-specific traveling play in neighborhoods across the country (2009-2015). Most recently The Saints Tour appeared in Braddock PA, co-produced by Rice’s production company Real/Time Interventions; it enjoyed a sold-out run and featured scores of talented Braddockians. She currently teaches in the Point Park Writing for Screen and Stage MFA program and in the Conservatory at Carnegie Mellon University.

The Guest Artists | Colony 21
Heather Benton
Samuel D. Hunter
Kevin Kicking Woman
Chelsea Marcantel
Molly Rice

The Colony Company
Salina Chatlain | Producer

Montana Rep
Greg Johnson | Artistic Director

Agnes Ranjo Capps Scholarship
Award Recipients:
2015—Elizabeth Dement
2014—Francine Volpe
2013—Vickie Ramirez
2012—Melssa Ross
2011—Diane Glancy
2010—Deborah Zoe Laufer
2009—Lauren Feldman
2008—Nicole Burdette
2007—Molly Rice