There have been nearly a thousand actors, designers, directors, and staff employed by the Rep over our 50 years. We can’t think of a better way to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of MRT than to hear from those who’ve made it all possible. This Q & A series helps illuminate the vast range of experiences the Rep offers.
Hannah has been an integral part of the Rep family these last several years. Having been out on two Education Outreach Tours and a National Tour to boot, she has a unique vantage on the Rep experience. In this Q & A, Hannah’s excitement and gratitude is practically tangible. Thank you, and enjoy!
- What was special about the Montana Repertory Theatre experience you had?
The Montana Repertory Theatre gave me my first big role. I grew up in a small town where I did speech and drama and school plays, but they were never big productions. When I went to the University of Montana I auditioned for shows but there was never a role that fit. Then the Rep did The Miracle Worker. It was the first time I felt like I had a real chance to be cast. And I did. I have never been so excited.
- Where did your work with Montana Rep come in your career? Student? Equity? What effect did it have on your trajectory?
I was hired for the Rep’s 2014 National Tour of The Miracle Worker when I was a junior at the University of Montana. It was because of that tour that I became part of the Rep family. It allowed me to be able to do their Educational Outreach Tour when I graduated college and always feel like I was a part of an amazing theatre family.
- The Rep has long since had a tradition of producing American Canonical texts. What is your favorite classic? And why?
Do I have to pick a favorite? I feel like it changes constantly. But I have always had a soft spot for The Glass Menagerie. I think it mostly has to do with the fact that I really love the character of Laura and her struggle through her physical and mental illnesses. Her character is quiet and shy and yet I have always felt she was the one to jump out of the script and stick in your memory.
- If you could tell a student actor hoping to work for The Rep one thing – what would it be?
Always be willing to help when the Rep is putting on an event, or needing a crew to load in, or needs posters put up around town. Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer! No one will know you unless you come out and show your face. Plus volunteering shows that you want to be involved and willing to help in any way you can. Everyone loves that.
- Looking back on your work with Montana Repertory Theatre, which singular memory stands out the most?
I have so many great memories with the Montana Repertory Theatre. It is hard to choose just one. A really sweet and recent memory I like to think of is during the 2016 Educational Outreach Tour when we were in the town of Poplar, MT. It was one of the best shows we had that entire tour. The students laughed and were completely engaged the entire performance. When we finished we came out from backstage and we had a line of students that wanted to shake our hands and thank us for coming. It was so heartwarming to see how thankful and excited those students were to have this performance come to their school. It made me so proud of what the Montana Repertory Theatre stands for and what they do for the incredible state of Montana.
(Hannah, left as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker)