Trevor Dorner – Actor

Trevor_Dorner_Head_ShotSay hello to Trevor Dorner, Actor, from Perrysburg, Ohio. Spending his first season at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse, we invite you to get acquainted with Trevor below!

What role(s) do you play at the BSP this season?
Rev. Shaw Moore — Footloose
Captain/Muleteer — Man of La Mancha
Ancestor — Addams Family
FDR — Annie

How long have you been at Bigfork Summer Playhouse?
First season. I had heard many wonderful things about BSP and after meeting the team at auditions, I really wanted to come to Montana to work for the Playhouse. I am having an amazing time and I’m so glad I have the opportunity to work here!

Trevor_Dorner_Photo_2Please share your personal history with theatre.
My first show was “Music Man, Jr.” in the 3rd grade. My family loves the theatre so I had been exposed to it my entire life. But it was mostly due to my brother that I am as involved in theatre as I am today. I watched him perform in countless shows growing up and I wanted to be just like him, so I took an interest in theatre and have even been able to perform alongside him several times while growing up.

Trevor_Dorner_Photo_3What is your favorite thing to do in your “off” time while staying in Bigfork?
Since it is my first season I am really looking forward to going to Glacier. I have heard some amazing things and I can’t wait to experience it!

What are your plans after the BFSP season ends?
I will be moving to New York City this September to start my career as an actor.

Yana Dryden – Set Design & Artist

Yana_Dryden_Head_ShotWelcome back, Yana Dryden! Spending her fifth season at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse, Yana is a set designer and artist from Fullerton, CA who makes the stage come alive. Read about Yana below…

What role(s) do you play at the BSP this season?
I am designing the set for Footloose and I am the charge artist for the other shows. (A charge artist leads and oversees the painting of the set.)

How long have you been at Bigfork Summer Playhouse?
This is my 5th year at the BSP.  I love this place it is one of the best experiences I have had!


Yana_Dryden_Photo_2Please share your personal history with theatre.
I started theatre in high school and ultimately earned a BFA in Theatre and Art from the University of Montana.

What is your favorite thing to do in your “off” time while staying in Bigfork?
I love going to Glacier I also like just hanging around the town and the lake.

Yana_Dryden__Photo_3What are your plans after the BFSP season ends?
I’m not sure at this point.

What else would you like to add to your feature that has not been asked?
I really like cats ; )

Jonathan Chisolm – Actor

Jonathan_Chisolm_Head_ShotSay hello to Jonathan Chisolm from Rome, GA! Jonathan is spending his first season with the Bigfork Summer Playhouse and we’re excited to have him aboard. Read his story below…

What role(s) do you play at the BSP this season?
Sancho — Man of La Mancha
Ancestor — The Addams Family
Bert Healy — Annie Kid
Dancer — Footloose

How long have you been at Bigfork Summer Playhouse?
This is my first season with the playhouse. I heard about Bigfork at SETC auditions every year of my time getting my BFA in musical theatre. Finally my senior year it all lined up and I was offered a role and I could not be happier with being here.

Please share your personal history with theatre.
I started in theatre at the age of 10. I was home-schooled and because of my keen interest in a career in theatre my parents focused my curriculum toward performing in community theatre and voice lessons. I went to and got my BFA in Musical Theatre from Shorter University this year. This is my absolute dream and what I love most.

Jonathan_Chisolm_Photo_2What is your favorite thing to do in your “off” time while staying in Bigfork?
I really love hanging out with my new friends. Other than that, I can’t wait to explore the beautiful nature with everyone once we have time off.

What are your plans after the BFSP season ends?
I have a few jobs that I am looking at. I want to continue working and in the next 5 years be in New York City as a working actor.

What else would you like to add?
I am so thankful for this amazing opportunity. It is truly a dream come true.

Brittany Ambler – Actress

Brittany_Ambler_Headshot_1Say hello to Brittany Ambler! From Bloomington, Illinois, Spending her first season with the Bigfork Summer Playhouse, we are excited to have her with us! Get acquainted with Brittany below…

What role(s) do you play at the BSP this season?
Maria (Innkeeper’s Wife) – Man of La Mancha
Flapper Ancestor – The Addams Family
Connie Boylan/etc – Annie
Rusty – Footloose

How long have you been at Bigfork Summer Playhouse?
This is my first summer at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse. I auditioned for them at the UPTA theatre conference and the SETC theatre conference. Bigfork Summer Playhouse was my top theatre company I wanted to work for this summer and I am so thankful to be a part of the 2015 Summer Season!

Please share your personal history with theatre.
When I was 8 years old, I performed in my first musical ever — I was an orphan boy in Oliver. My parents tell me that I went up to them after that show and said I want to do theatre for the rest of my life. Throughout school, I was involved in the school musicals, the Christmas shows, the fourth of July shows, and would sing the national anthem at every basketball, volleyball, baseball, soccer game you could imagine.

Brittany_Ambler_Headshot_2In high school and college, I was lucky enough to get the leads in musicals. My favorites were Fantine in Les Miserables, Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Pepa in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Petra in Little Night Music. I love performing and I am so thankful for the opportunities I have been given so far. Theatre brings such an amazing joy to my life and I couldn’t see the world without it.

What is your favorite thing to do in your “off” time while staying in Bigfork?
I love going the shops in the downtown area, such as the Montana Scene. I always get the Farmer’s Market smoothie when I go there! I also like to walk by the water and sit on the rocks. I’m looking forward to going white water rafting, going to Glacier, and just taking the time to sit outside, read a book, and enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding me.

What are your plans after the BFSP season ends?
After this summer, I am planning to move to NYC, as well as audition for theatres in Florida.

What else would you like to add?
Thank you to my parents who have always been supportive of me and my performing. I couldn’t be the woman I am today without them! Love you mom and dad!

Marisa Kirby – Choreographer

Marisa_Kirby_HeadshotSay hello to Marisa Kirby, Choreographer from Little Rock, Arkansas! Working her first season with the Bigfork Summer Playhouse, meet Marisa below.

What role(s) do you play at the BSP this season?
I’m the choreographer for The Addams Family.

How long have you been at Bigfork Summer Playhouse?
This is my first season here at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse. I actually got this job through the Unified Professional Theatre Auditions in Memphis, Tennessee. I left my resume with several theatre companies and received a phone call from Dwayne asking me to come in for an interview. A few weeks later, they called and offered me the job. I am so excited to be here!

Marisa_Kirby_2Please share your personal history with theatre.
I grew up dancing. I started around the age of three and just never stopped. The love for theatre and choreography came later when I was in high school. I was so fortunate to go to a school with a fantastic theatre and dance program. I had the opportunity to perform in many plays and musicals, and landed my first lead as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. I will never forget it. Soon the faculty let me begin choreographing.

When I graduated, I was hired to be a choreographer for Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s phenomenal young artist program. This theatre gave me a wonderful start at such a young age and made me fall more in love with dance and theatre. Nine years later, I am still involved with this program. I earned a degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a BFA in dance performance and I’m also a member of Actor’s Equity. I love performing just as much as being on the creative team and recently performed in productions of Mary Poppins, Memphis, Les Mis and Elf, for which I was also the choreographer. I can’t imagine doing one and not the other. Being on stage feels like home.

What is your favorite thing to do in your “off” time while staying in Bigfork?
Well, I’m only here for about 3-1/2 weeks, but I’ve definitely found some time to explore Bigfork and surrounding places here in Montana. I really enjoy the little downtown area. It’s so charming, and the family atmosphere definitely reminds me of home. I’ve certainly seen lots of nature and beautiful landscapes, but I was sure to find the time to squeeze in my favorite pastime of shopping! I have ventured out to Kalispell, Whitefish, and even managed to squeeze in a little time at Glacier Park one day. It’s such a beautiful place to work and I can only imagine what it looks like covered in snow. I usually make my daily stop downtown to the “Montana Scene.” I’ve enjoyed getting to know the young ladies who work there and they make a fantastic Brown Bear Smoothie!

Marisa_Kirby_3What are your plans after the BFSP season ends?
Back to Little Rock I go! In addition to performing and choreographing, I am also the artistic director for Ms. Karen’s Dance Studio. When I return, we will be preparing for our annual company showcase and national dance competition. I will choreograph for the Rep’s Young Artist Program in July and I’ve also got an audition for The Little Mermaid coming up! It’s going to be a busy summer and fall, but that’s a good thing!

What else would you like to add?
I feel so fortunate to share my love of dance and theater with many aspiring young performers. I love to teach! Outside of the theatre world, I have taught nationwide master classes and workshops to aspiring dancers and performers. I have also judged for dance competitions across the nation. I hope to continue to inspire performers to pursue their dreams as I continue to pursue mine!

Casey Leach – Actor

Casey_Leach_HeadshotA big Montana welcome to Casey Leach, Actor from Tallahassee, Florida! Get to know Casey by reading his interview responses below.

What role(s) do you play at the BSP this season?
Pedro – Man of La Mancha
Ancestor – The Addams Family
Drake – Annie
Chuck Cranston – Footloose

How long have you been at Bigfork Summer Playhouse?
This is my first season with the Bigfork Summer Playhouse. I auditioned through the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC), and jumped at the opportunity to work at the BSP. I have the good fortune to be friends with actors who’ve worked here in the past, and the way they raved about the experience, I knew this was where I wanted to work.

Casey_Leach_2Please share your personal history with theatre.
My family attempted to steer me towards theatre when I was in elementary school, but I was too scared to ever try. For years I daydreamed of becoming an actor, but never found the courage to admit it. It wasn’t until 10th grade, when my Marine Core ROTC Commanding Officer talked me into joining a drama class that I finally stepped onto the stage. I’ve been an actor ever since.

My first play was 12 Angry Men and my first musical was Beauty & the Beast — 5 plays and 3 musicals later, I knew I needed to pursue acting as a career. In 2011 I began my formal training in Florida State University’s competitive BFA Acting program, and this past May I finally graduated. During my time at FSU, I sang in the all male A Cappella group, Reverb, studied in London, and performed onstage at the historic Globe Theater, wrote and directed my first film “Animals,” and acted in over 30 films and 7 stage plays, finishing this past year as Romeo in “Romeo & Juliet.” Recently I performed in FSU’s Acting Showcase in L.A., and, as a result, received several offers for professional representation.

Casey_Leach_3What is your favorite thing to do in your “off” time while staying in Bigfork?
I’m very excited to explore the hiking in the area, as well as swimming in Flathead Lake. I’m also excited to shoot a few short films with my free time, hopefully with the assistance of my awesome fellow actors. I’d also love the opportunity to meet some of the community members and get to know what it’s like to be a local! You’ll probably catch me romping around outdoors or in a bar.

What are your plans after the BFSP season ends?
After this summer, I’ll return to Tallahassee to visit with my family and pack up my belongings. Then I’ll be making the move to L.A. in the middle of September to continue pursuing my film career.

What else would you like to add?
I love new experiences, philosophical discussions, and getting to know other people’s life stories. I’m also admittedly a big fan of good southern food and even better whiskey. If you see me, please say hello!

Jessica Low – Choreographer

Jessica_Low_Head_ShotExtend a warm welcome to Jessica Low, Choreographer from Seattle, Washington! See how Jessica found herself at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse by reading his blog feature below.

What role(s) do you play at the BSP this season?
Choreographer for Man of La Mancha

How long have you been at Bigfork Summer Playhouse?
This is my first season out here! Matt Wolfe, the director for Man of La Mancha, and I are good friends and have worked together for years in Seattle. He loves it out here so much and recommended me to Brach. So here I am!  I’m having a great time!

Jessica_Low_2Please share your personal history with theatre.
I started singing in middle school, which led me to theatre in high school. From there I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the University of Washington with an emphasis in acting and directing. During college I began to get exposed to more musical theatre and fell in love with it so I started studying as much dance as possible and private vocal training.

One of my first contracts out of college was ‘Swing-the musical’ which is a review of music of the jazz era. One of our choreographers quit and the director asked me to take over, so that is how my choreography career got started.

Now I split my time performing, directing, choreographing and working in youth theatre education. One of my recent career highlights is being the recipient of the 2014 Gregory Award (Seattle area theatre awards) for Outstanding Choreography for The Wild Party.

Jessica_Low_3What is your favorite thing to do in your “off” time while staying in Bigfork?
I love exploring: going for long drives to see the surrounding area, walking around the town and along the river trail. And I’m a big fan of the Pocketstone cafe!

What are your plans after the BFSP season ends?
After we open I will return to Seattle and get to work on other shows! I have an exciting season ahead of me: I will be directing ‘Urinetown’ and choreographing ‘Into The Woods’ for the Seattle Children Theatre’s youth summer program, Assistant Directing ‘The Sound of Music’ at the 5th Avenue Theatre, Directing/Choreographing ‘9-5’ for Seattle Musical Theatre and then Assistant Directing ‘Billy Elliot’ for Village Theatre! I am also looking forward to being in Matt’s wedding in August!

David N. Morgan – Set Designer

David_Morgan_Head_ShotWelcome aboard to David N. Morgan, Set Designer from Homewood, Alabama! Read about David and learn his story below.

What role(s) do you play at the BSP this season?
I’m designing the set for The Addams Family and helping in the scene shop.

How long have you been at Bigfork Summer Playhouse?
This is my first season at Bigfork Summer Playhouse. I had heard wonderful things about the company from colleagues and met the Thomsons at the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC). I have been trying to work out an opportunity to come up for a few years now.

David_Morgan_2Please share your personal history with theatre.
I starting acting in high school and told myself I’d never go into it as a career or major in theatre in college. After two years as a graphic design student at Auburn, I re-declared as a double major in art and theatre. I started on the performance side, but fell into designing and painting. I went to grad school from theatre and I’ve been teaching and designing ever since.

What is your favorite thing to do in your “off” time while staying in Bigfork?
This is my first time in Montana and I am captivated by the scenery. I have heard about the wild mile and would like to hike some trails in the area soon.

David_Morgan_3What are your plans after the BFSP season ends?
I’ll be moving from Oxford, Mississippi (my home for the last three years) to Atlanta, Georgia with my wife, Amanda.

What else would you like to add?
I’m enjoying myself here and love working with the company. I’ll be looking for either freelance work or a teaching position in Atlanta that would allow me to return soon.

Scott Seidl – Director

Scott_Seidl_Head_ShotA very warm welcom to Scott Seidl, Director. See Scott’s story below — his work with the Bigfork Summer Playhouse has been a long time coming and we are thrilled to have his talents with us this season!

What role(s) do you play at the BSP this season?
Director – “The Addams Family”

How long have you been at Bigfork Summer Playhouse?
This is my first season at BSP. I met the Thomsons 8 years ago and we’ve been trying to work out the scheduling to get here ever since. I was thrilled when the stars aligned and I was able to finally spend some time creating here at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse.

Please share your personal history with theatre.
This is my 39th year working professionally in theatre and live entertainment. Our family took us to musicals and operas as kids and I was hooked from the very first. After 14 years as a college and high school educator, I’ve been fortunate to work as an director, stage manager, musician and actor in national tours of musicals, performing in productions with Dolly Parton and Lee Greenwood, hosting and later writing shows for Nickelodeon, writing, directing and choreographing plays, musicals and revues around the country. I even spent a couple years as a road manager and body guard for Steven Tyler and the iconic band Aerosmith. But, my favorite thing to do is spend time with my incredibly talented wife, actor / recording artist Ashley Chasteen and our dog Callie!

What is your favorite thing to do in your “off” time while staying in Bigfork?
Off time?!?!? The schedule, although exhilarating, is pretty intense during the time that I’m here in Bigfork. So, we don’t get a lot of off time and sadly the directors leave this beautiful place once the show opens. But, beyond just enjoying the amazing views, it’s getting to know the people that I’ve enjoyed the most.

Scott_Seidl_Photo_2What are your plans after the BFSP season ends?
I head home to New York the day after “The Addams Family” opens and then the next day start working as the Site Manager for Theater 360’s production or J.M. Barre’s “Peter Pan” — www.peterpan360.com  — It’s an epic production that will be touring the country into the spring of 2016 and beyond.

What else would you like to add?
I feel so fortunate to finally be able to come and experience Bigfork, the Summer Playhouse and the theater that the Thomsons and their staff have created. Musical Theater is one of the most collaborative of all art forms and it’s a joy to work with a team that feels as passionately about the process as I do. I’m excited about what’s next for me. I’m excited about the season that all of these actors have ahead of them. And I hope to be back soon to do it all over again. At the moment, most importantly – I’m excited about the crazy, kooky, spooky, ooky Addams Family!

Ian LeRoy – Music Director and Keyboards

A warm welcome back to Ian LeRoy, Music Director and Keyboard Musician from Orwell, Ohio! Get acquainted with Ian below!

Ian_Leroy_Head_ShotWhat role(s) do you play at the BSP this season?
This summer I am the music director for Man of La Mancha. I will also play keyboards in the pit for the full repertory season.

How long have you been at Bigfork Summer Playhouse? This is my third year at BSP as a music director and my second year in the pit orchestra. I came to Bigfork to music direct a production of Chicago that my college professor Kevin P. Kern was directing and have been hooked ever since.

The primary reason I’ve come back is the amount I learn every day from Brach, Dwayne, Frank, DT, and everyone else involved with the theatre. Bigfork continues to be an essential part of my growth as a theatre artist, musician, and person. There are some truly extraordinary people running this place.


Please share your personal history with theatre.
My first theatre experience was as a 13-year-old Baby John in West Side Story, and like so many people I immediately fell in love. I started playing in pits and music directing more regularly when I got to college, and decided to pursue it as a career after a life-changing production of Godspell in 2012.

Ian_Leroy_Jewel_BasinWhat is your favorite thing to do in your “off” time while staying in Bigfork? Hiking, hiking, hiking. I love Glacier National Park, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Jewel Basin. The trail to Birch Lake was my first serious hike in Montana and I went with a few people that are still some of my closest friends today.

What are your plans after the BFSP season ends?
I’m planning to move to New York City!

Ian_Leroy_PhantomAnything else you’d like to add?
Fun fact: In 2003 I was briefly in callbacks for the title role in the Phantom of the Opera film. It was a close call, but they decided Gerard Butler had a better look ; )