Joining the Bigfork Summer Playhouse for a third season is Lizzie Hatfield, Music Director, from Montana!
What role(s) do you play at the BSP? I will be music directing Legally Blonde!
How long have you been involved in theatre? From the time I was little, I always wanted to be a singer or actress. Coming from a small town in Montana, the opportunities were limited, but I made sure to participate in as much as I could while growing up: church choir, Missoula Children’s Theatre touring productions, school plays, band, choir, dance, cheerleading, speech and debate, drama… If it had any connection with the arts, I was involved.
It wasn’t until the summer after my freshman year of college that I had my first job in theatre and really began to understand what theatre was all about. I got a last-minute call to be an accompanist for the Fort Peck Summer Theatre, so I packed my bags and headed to the middle of nowhere, scared silly, and not knowing what to expect. From the first day, I was hooked. I was asked to stay on as an actress, and returned the next summer as the resident accompanist. Since that fateful phone call, I have been doing theatre non-stop.
Nowadays, I mainly work as a music director and accompanist, but every now and then I make it onstage as an actor. One of my most exciting accomplishments is when I traveled to New York to music direct a show for the New York Musical Theatre Festival with Bigfork alum Nora Gustuson.
I have worked at or performed in a majority of the theatres in Montana, including Virginia City, Philipsburg, Bigfork, MCT, The University of Montana, and the Montana Actor’s Theatre. After 8 years, I returned to Fort Peck Summer Theatre this summer to be a music director, and it was like I had never been gone. That’s what I love about doing theatre in Montana, specifically. It really does feel like one big family, and the communities open their hearts to the performers.
How long have you been at Bigfork Summer Playhouse? This will be my third season at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse. Last year, I music directed Damn Yankees and High School Musical. In 2011, I music directed Happy Days: The Musical. A few years prior to being an official company member and music director, Bigfork hosted John and Jen, a show that I music directed which starred current Bigfork directing staff Andy Meyers and Alicia Bullock-Muth. I think that’s what got my foot in the door, as well as some generous recommendations by David Cody (another music director at BSP). That’s another thing I love about this company. I am always meeting people who have connections to Bigfork Summer Playhouse, and the connections you make here really become lasting friendships.
What is your favorite thing to do in your “off” time while staying in Bigfork? Last year I discovered the Swan River Nature Trail and I would run/hike that in the evenings. I also love Bear Foods, the Garden Bar and Brookie’s Cookies. As a music director, you get a lot more time off than the cast, so I sometimes drive to West Glacier on my nights off and take in Glacier Park for the evening. Even though I was raised 45 minutes from the park, and spent much of my childhood at my parent’s cabin near West Glacier, I can’t get enough of the scenery and fresh air! This summer, I am bringing my fishing poles and hope to catch some fish!