Part two of the Missoula Stories Project on Tuesday was stacked with drama and punctuated by an understanding of what it takes to live, love, win and fail in Missoula, as Montana Rep Artistic Director Greg Johnson puts it. Josh Wagner's Bleach Bone was a chilling old-style western set in familiar places, while Kate Morris' Everybody in Missoula Says I Love You touched on leaving and returning, waiting and wondering, moving on or giving up. The funny bone came from Floating, a four-character raft trip down the Clark Fork that showed the "down-and-dirty side" of Missoula (which actually is in Montana) through a roofing boss, his wife and his renters. The PBR was an excellent touch.
Later that night the tone got serious.
Just now the Colony witnessed Lily Gladstone and Joeseph Grady's Traps, a generational story told in an exciting new format with an immersive Medicine Wheel set that encourages participation or movement at the very least. It's a crows-eye look into modern Indian life and the strengths and weaknesses there, with all the bright anthropomorphic imagery you can imagine.
Tonight at 8, don't miss Character by Robert Caisley, whose work Colony producer Salina Chatlain calls "funny and cerebral."
And there are only four shows left after that, two Friday and two Saturday. It's an incredible experience to actually be on the stage with your back to the empty red seats watching the infant form of a written piece of art learn to walk. Read about all of the artists here, and print out the full schedule for the remainder of Colony, featuring readings by Christinane and Marcus Olson, Melissa Ross, Jay Kettering and a hard-hitting closer by WIlliam Missouri Downs Friday and Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. To all ye Colonists: we'll see you next year.