Bozeman Actors Theatre's mission is to offer professional quality, thought-provoking, and adventurous live theater—via a mix of contemporary and classical productions—for Bozeman and Southwestern Montana. As an acting company, we strive to connect artists and audiences through intimate, engaging, and provocative productions. As our organization continues to grow and mature, we also aim to connect more closely with the local community, in particular finding ways to partner with other area nonprofits.
Originally founded in 2008 as Actors Theatre of Montana, the company co-produced several challenging and rewarding plays and readings in locations ranging from intimate theaters to historic large houses. Venues included the Black Box Theater on the Montana State University campus, The Dulcie in Livingston, and The Verge (Equinox) Theater and The Ellen Theatre in Bozeman.
In 2014, a core group of actors and community members came together to achieve more permanence and growth for the company and to better serve the community. Bozeman Actors Theatre was incorporated in the state of Montana and achieved state and federal tax-exempt status. In fall of 2014, The Language Archive was presented as the first production of this theater company under its new identity.
Bozeman Actors Theatre is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, governed by a volunteer board of directors.
Our Late Co-Founder
Dee Dee Van Zyl (1950-2018)
Dee Dee Van Zyl, our beloved co-founder, patron, friend, and inspiration, passed away on May 3, 2018. She was the light of our stage and will be forever missed.
No biography can do justice to all that Dee Dee meant to our company. Over the years she directed our productions of God of Carnage and A Streetcar Named Desire, among others. She last appeared in BAT's Marjorie Prime (2017), and her other major roles included Sonia in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Alta in The Language Archive, and Violet in August: Osage County. Dee Dee also performed in many roles at MSU’s Black Box Theater and Seattle’s Intiman Theatre, Empty Space Theatre, Pioneer Square Theatre, Bathhouse Theatre, and New City Theatre. In Portland, Oregon, Dee Dee performed with Portland Rep at Portland State University, the Storefront Theatre, and the New Rose Theatre. She received her training at Portland State University and over the years taught acting at Portland State University, Tacoma Community College, and at Montana State University.
Dee Dee is survived by her spouse and partner, Ursula Neese, another great friend of our company. Their relationship was part soulmates, part business partners, and part adventure companions. Together they were ubiquitous supporters of great theater in Livingston and Bozeman.
We are proud to dedicate our 2018-19 Season to Dee Dee's memory. She will inspire us and all we do for the next year and for many years to come. Thank you, Dee Dee.
Tonya Andrews (Featured Player)
Tonya Andrews received her MFA from the University of Arkansas and studied Shakespeare at Kingston University in London. After graduating, Tonya headed west to Montana, where she received an Artist-in-Residence grant from the Montana Arts Council to create and teach an arts education program for children and adults.
Tonya spent five seasons with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, working as an actor, educator, and company manager. She then spent four years in Seattle, where she has had the honor to act with Seattle Shakespeare Company, Book-It Repertory Theatre, ACT, New Century Theatre Company, Latino Theatre Project, Shakespeare Walla Walla, and the 14/48 Projects.
She directed BAT's production of Marjorie Prime in 2017, and in the 2017-18 season she appeared in Copenhagen.
Beth Boyson (Board of Directors, Secretary)
Beth Boyson is from a large Boston Irish-American family who enjoyed plays and musicals because it was a chance for quiet, followed by (vigorous) discussion. Beth joined the BAT Board in 2015 and, along with her husband, Brian Close, supports live, local theater performances in Bozeman that challenge the audience while entertaining it.
Beth is a reference librarian and cataloger at Bozeman Public Library, where she shares her love of literature and the arts with the community.
Kevin Brustuen (Ambassador, Director Emeritus)
Over the past few years Kevin Brustuen has enjoyed the experience of being an audience member for theatrical productions in Minneapolis, Chicago, London, and Bozeman. He is dedicated to history and to the notion of storytelling, and thus is interested in the ways that theater can convey thought-provoking situations to its audience members. Kevin served as a BAT board member for four years through 2017, most recently as treasurer. During the 2017-18 season he worked as co-producer for Copenhagen and Fool for Love.
Kevin has worked for several other nonprofit organizations, and his work has taken him to Lithuania, Mali, and Uganda. He has been involved in the International Council of Systems Engineers, U.S. Agency of International Development, USDA Soils Labs, and several political campaigns at the local and national level.
A proud native of Minnesota, Kevin has lived in Bozeman for seven years and is an avid hiker, backpacker, outdoorsman, and Norwegian. He is a voracious reader of nonfiction, an amateur musician, and the ideal host.
James Burroughs (Board of Directors, President)
James Burroughs has sought out, studied, and enjoyed outstanding theater for his entire life— from his upbringing in the South as a Tennessee Williams devotee to a recent year with his family in England, where every spare tuppence went toward theater tickets in London or Yorkshire. In his mind, there's simply no better way to spend an evening.
For the past eleven years in Bozeman, he and his family have supported local theater in all of its forms, including stage work and drama camp participation by his three sons. He is proud to be associated with Bozeman Actors Theatre and its brilliant professionals, and he believes a thriving local theater is one way to draw our growing community closer together.
James has served on the BAT board since 2016, most recently as president. During the 2017-18 season he worked as co-producer for I Am My Own Wife (with Kari Doll) and as producer for The Realistic Joneses. He also serves as an ambassador for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks.
Gordon Carpenter (Artistic Director, Board of Directors)
Gordon Carpenter began his theatrical life in Bozeman several decades ago -- first in performances at the old Loft Theatre in the Red Barn, next as an undergraduate at MSU, and also as a Virginia City Player. After graduating, Gordon began a lifelong association with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, where he currently works as technical director.
For the last thirty years he has worked at most Seattle area theaters as an actor and fight director. Over the years he has also worked briefly in Boston, New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.
Gordon's first assignment with Bozeman Actors Theatre was directing Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. During the 2017-18 season, he appeared in Copenhagen and directed Fool for Love. He is thrilled to be part of this great company and currently serves as its artistic director.
Kari Doll (Artistic Company, Board of Directors, Treasurer)
Kari Doll has been a staple in the Bozeman theater community since she first trod the boards as Amaryllis in MSU's mainstage production of The Music Man in 1982. Having performed in over 40 local productions, she is extremely excited to be a company member with the Bozeman Actors Theatre and work with the board on the other side of the curtain. Her first experience with BAT was in The Life and Times of Tulsa Lovechild in 2009 and again most recently as Cassandra in Vanya and Sonja and Masha and Spike in 2015. In 2018 she directed I Am My Own Wife, which sold out all six shows.
In addition to her passion for acting and theater, Kari also loves to travel. She lived in China for a year (2011-12), when she taught English to children ages 3-14. She loves to learn languages and is currently studying Albanian.
Kimberly Eyre (Board of Directors)
Kimberly Eyre started her career as a stage manager in Chicago, where she was a member of the award-winning TimeLine Theatre Company.
For the last 15 years she has been working as a stage manager in Bozeman, starting with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks in 2003. After moving to Bozeman in 2006, she began working with Bozeman Actors Theatre in 2009. Her first production was The Life and Times of Tulsa Lovechild, and her latest, Fool For Love, was part of the 2017-18 season.
Since her childhood in Texas, theater has been a constant in her life, once on stage and now backstage. She is a recent addition to the BAT board and is looking forward to adding to the rich artistic community of Bozeman.
Katie Lose Gilbertson (Board of Directors)
Katie Gilbertson’s involvement in theater began over 100 years ago when her great-grandmother toured England and the U.S. as a Soubrette with the Tiller Girls. Theater and dance became family tradition as they were passed down to Katie’s grandmother, mother, herself, and now to her daughter. After attending the Youth Performing Arts School, Katie received her BFA in acting through the renowned theater program at Stephens College. She worked professionally with several companies, including Actors Theatre of Louisville and Stage One. Following an interest in film and editing, she moved to Bozeman to pursue her MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking. Her editing has earned her numerous awards, including an Emmy for Best Cultural Documentary.
After focusing on documentaries since 2006, she’s thrilled to get back to her theater roots with Bozeman Actors Theatre. She looks forward to helping BAT grow and thrive so that Bozeman abounds with the inspirational theater we all need.
Steven Harris-Weiel (Board of Directors)
Steven Harris-Weiel is a Bozeman native. He found interest in acting after randomly taking an acting for non-majors class while finishing up a mathematics and statistics degree. His start in theater came in 2010 at the Verge Theater, and he has been involved in theater ever since. Currently, he produces his own video-interview podcast called You Are Admirable, acts in various productions with multiple different groups, is the President of the Speakers Connection Toastmasters club, and teaches and performs improv through Verge Theater. Along with theater, another of his loves is volunteering, especially as a CAP Mentor with Thrive, as a Befriender, and at Fork & Spoon. Part of Steven’s involvement in theater comes from his highly valuing relationships and connection with individuals and the community at large, and he brings that value into his professional endeavors as a licensed Realtor. He is extremely grateful to live in and be a part of this incredibly supportive, talented, and beautiful community.
Colter Langan (Featured Player)
Colter Langan is a founding member of Bozeman Actors Theatre and was a member of Actors Theater of Montana, this company's predecessor.
Colter has been acting on stage and screen for the past 40 years. His most recent Bozeman Actors Theatre appearance was in Fool for Love during the 2017-18 season. Other BAT productions include Glengarry Glen Ross, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, A Streetcar Named Desire, and August: Osage County. Other local credits include Rabbit Hole, Kimberly Akimbo, and True West. He is a past member of Montana Shakes! (Montana Shakespeare in the Parks' educational touring troupe), and in 2018 he appeared in the MSIP production of Death of a Salesman. Colter studied at Montana State University in Media/Theater Arts. He is a native of Bozeman, Montana.
Lori Rosolowsky (Board of Directors)
Lori Rosolowsky is a pianist, singer-songwriter, performer, producer, and founder of Open Sky Artists, LLC, a performing arts management and consulting firm that creates flourishing partnerships for artists and venues while producing captivating live events. She supports the work of dozens of artists and venues, including the establishment of an Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center, in her former home of Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Lori is committed to excellence and integrity, stemming from her education in science and music at Oberlin College (B.A.) and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (Ph.D.).
She is a connector of people and ideas. Lori created and chairs Wonderlust’s Preludes and Performances, a series of public events designed to increase audience engagement of arts offerings in the Gallatin Valley. Similarly, she initiated and hosts RIVERs, (Rhapsody-in-View Events and Retreats). These private house concerts and shows connect socially conscious organizations with professional performers to increase the flow of resources (audience, awareness, and funds) to all participants. She is a collaborative pianist for MSU students and faculty and is involved in other musical and theatrical ventures in Bozeman.
Susan Quarles (Ambassador, Director Emeritus)
Susan Quarles has always been an avid theater enthusiast since childhood. She is very pleased to bring her interests, experience, and talents to share with the Bozeman community the transformative experience that live theater offers. Susan served as a BAT board member for four years through 2017, most recently as president for two years.
Susan is also a current Board Member of the Community Food Coop, and she is a former President and Board Member of the Bozeman Public Library Foundation.
When not busy with her community activities, Susan, a native of Chicago, loves to travel, knit, and cook. She has lived in Bozeman for ten years.
Billie Warford (Board of Directors)
Billie Warford knows that actors need an audience, and she is happy to play that role on the Bozeman Actors Theatre board of directors. Billie cut her artistic teeth watching Louisville Actors Theatre while in high school and college. As a faculty member at MSU for more than 36 years, she watched the theater program grow and shrink, but she believes today's Bozeman community loves live theater and what it brings to their lives.
As an early childhood specialist, Billie recognizes the importance of play in healthy development. She knows this is true for adults as well. Billie is proud to be not only part of the audience, but also an active supporter of Bozeman Actors Theatre and its amazing troupe of top-notch performers.
Cara Wilder (Artistic Company, Director Emeritus)
Cara Wilder is a founding member of Bozeman Actors Theatre, as well as a co-founder of this company’s previous incarnation, Actors Theatre of Montana. Cara served as a BAT board member for four years through 2017, most recently as artistic director.
Cara’s previous roles include Tess in Marjorie Prime, Mary in The Language Archive, Barbara in August: Osage County, Veronica in God of Carnage, Lisa in Well (staged reading with Margot Kidder), Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire (Bozeman Actors Theatre and previously Actors Theatre of Montana). Cara has also appeared as Becca in Rabbit Hole and Pattie in Kimberly Akimbo (Black Box Theatre, MSU), Babe in Crimes of the Heart and Kess in Independence (Blue Slipper Theatre), Beth in A Lie of the Mind, and Sandra in A Thousand Clowns (Flaregun Productions).
Cara trained at Pacific Conservatory for Performing Arts, Santa Maria, CA (Undergraduate Certificate), and National Theatre Conservatory, Denver, CO (MFA). Cara was born in California but grew up in Bozeman.