WMPAC open house is March 12

BIG SKY BROADWAY

BIG SKY – When the Big Sky’s Got Talent Show performers take to the Warren Miller Performing Arts Stage on March 17, they won’t be just raising money for the community’s first theatrical company and children’s musical theater camps, they’ll be ushering in a new era of entertainment and the arts in Big Sky.

“This is really a game-changer for Big Sky,” says WMPAC artistic director John Zirkle. “A performing arts venue befitting both the talent that comes to town – and the talent that’s homegrown.”

Although WMPAC’s grand opening will happen amid fitting fanfare later this year, the facility will begin hosting events this March, including Big Sky Broadway’s annual fundraiser, Big Sky’s Got Talent at 6:30 p.m. on March 17.

“People wanted to get onto the stage as soon as we could clear the sawdust away,” Zirkle said, “which I think really speaks to the demand for the arts in Big Sky, and for a theater like this one.”

The following weekend the Big Sky Community Theater, a division of the Big Sky School District’s adult education program, will take the stage for its first performance on Friday, March 29, followed by the Arts Council of Big Sky fundraiser, “Crawfish and Cornbread,” on March 30.

Big Sky Broadway Producer Barbara Rowley says the slots for entertainers for the Sunday talent show filled almost immediately, in no small part due to the community’s growing number of performing arts teachers.

“New this year will be several dance numbers, taught by our choreographer Jennifer Waters,” Rowley said. “We’ll also have Heaven Phillip’s voice students, Klaudia Kosiak’s pianists, and members of John Zirkle’s community chorus. And, rest assured – John Dobson and Sarah Phelps will be back with their show stopping numbers!”

Last year’s soiree raised nearly $3,000. Now with 280 seats to sell, Rowley hopes for an even better result this year. Big Sky Broadway will also announce its summer musical that night, and open enrollment for the troupe.

Proceeds support Big Sky Broadway’s summer camps and productions. Tickets will be on sale at the door, at the Hungry Moose, and online through ticketriver.com, Big Sky Broadway’s Facebook page, or by pointing a smart phone at the QR code on one of the event posters.

“A state-of-the-art facility inspires us to go state-of-the-art in everything we do,” Zirkle said, thanking donors like Jill and Loren Bough and the Big Sky Resort Tax Board for making such innovations possible.

With the recent donation of a grand piano from the Yellowstone Club, Big Sky’s Got Talent has everything it needs on site, Rowley said. “People really won’t want to miss it.”

Prior to the talent show, the arts center will host an open house Tuesday, March 12. Tours of the facility will begin at 4:30 p.m. and run through the 90-minute reception. Visitors will see the state-of-the-art sound and lighting system, the green room and gallery/multi-purpose room, and enjoy light appetizers and huckleberry lemonade.

There will also be opportunities for guests to interactively share their visions for Big Sky’s first indoor performing arts venue.

“We are looking at this facility as a blank canvas for our community to fill with the arts and events that they want,” Zirkle said.

At 6 p.m., following the reception, guests will be given a ‘ticket’ to enter the theater, where they’ll experience the theater firsthand, with music by Kosiak and presentations by Zirkle in his signature theatrical style. Following the event, clips from Warren Miller movies will be shown. The Big Sky Resort Tax Board will hold a community forum at 7 p.m.

“With so much going on, I hope people will take the time to be there from the very first moment,” Zirkle said.

For Big Sky Broadway sponsorship opportunities, email Barbara Rowley at browley@3rivers.net.