May 4, 2022

Alpine Theatre Project Kid’s “RENT: School Edition”

In preparation for photographing Alpine Theatre Project's production of "RENT: School Edition," I did a lot of listening to the music from the original production and the feature film adaptation that included most of the original Broadway cast. I had already seen a number of ATP's middle and secondary kid productions, so expectations start sky-high for these performances, but "RENT" is sort of a different beast. It's got difficult subject matter and the songs do an awful lot of heavy lifting—largely because basically all dialogue is performed via song. But once again everyone absolutely knocked it out of the park, and it was such an honor to document it.

February 24, 2022

Whitefish Theatre Co.’s “The Revolutionists”

Feminism, the French revolution, and—spoiler alert—lots of beheadings. It was such a pleasure photographing Whitefish Theatre Co.'s production of the play "The Revolutionists" by Lauren Gunderson.

December 9, 2021

Whitefish Theatre Co.’s “Elf: The Musical”

It's been so great being involved with both theatre non-profits in Whitefish. I've been able to meet so many creative-minded individuals as well as give back to the community at the same time. And let's be frank when your "work" involves photographing a musical based on the Will Farrel movie "Elf," that can hardly be considered work at all. Whitefish Theatre Co. put on such a joyful show it was the perfect entré into the holiday season.

August 5, 2021

ATP Kids “Disney’s Descendants: The Musical”

I consider myself very fortunate to have crossed paths with Betsi and Luke at Alpine Theatre Project thanks to our kids sharing a first-grade classroom. Though I suppose we live in a small town, we most likely would've crossed paths one way or another. Twice a year they do kids productions that are open to children from all over the Flathead Valley, no kid is turned away, and everyone gets a part. This results in two casts rehearsing intensely for four to six weeks culminating in multiple performances of a 60 to 90-minute show. As you can imagine it can be a bit like herding cats, and honestly, I don't know how they all do it, but the final performances never fail to blow me away. Even when I've been present at a high percentage of the rehearsals. "Descendants: The Musical" was no exception, despite an extremely physical show with lots of complex choreography. I suppose what I'm trying to say is, if you ever have an opportunity to attend an ATP Kids performance you should absolutely take advantage of it.

September 30, 2020

Alpine Theatre Project’s Operalesque 3

This month I was blessed to have the opportunity to document Alpine Theatre Project's "Operalesque 3"—a sexy combination of opera and burlesque—in the truly unique settings of the Viking Creek Wetland Preserve. As you might imagine with restrictions on indoor performances, the performing arts community here, and everywhere, has been hit particularly hard with no opportunity to perform in the concert halls, performing arts centers, and theaters they're used to.

The Operalesque performances at ATP's Garage were already something unique and special, and beyond anything, I ever expected to be able to experience, particularly in Northwest Montana. The creativity ATP has exhibited with this production bringing it out into nature was an experience I don't think anyone who attended is likely to forget any time soon.

Shoutout to the amazing cast consisting of Glen Seven Allen, Jessica Fishenfeld, Marcy Richardson, Melanie Long, Darren Stokes, and Billy Thompson.

This isn't the first time they've found to make sure that "the show must go on." This past spring the high school production of Mel Brook's "Young Frankenstein" was converted to the individual performers recording their parts on a green screen in isolation, which was then edited into a digital production.

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Matt Wetzler is an editorial, motorsport, portrait, and destination wedding photographer based in Northwest Montana.

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