GARDEN VALLEY -- Outdoor theatre is not a new concept. In fact, it has quite the reputation and following here in Garden Valley.
The Starlight Mountain Theatre started as just an idea 13 years ago, but has been built into a “dramatic” destination.
The story of this theater is a lot like other small theatre company stories across the country. And while nobody ever said summer-stock theatre was easy -- out here along the Middle Fork of the Payette, it's a lot more hands-on.
KTVB visited the theater about ten days into rehearsal of the famous musical “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Here, it’s obvious that there’s still plenty to do before debut night. Many actors are still learning their lines -- and something unexpected too.
Tey're even building the stage and seats where patrons watch.
Abbie Howard always knew she wanted to be an actress. However, the 20-year-old just didn't know it would require carpentry skills. “It's because of this place that I know how to work power tools,” Howard told KTVB.
‘This place’ exists because of Ed Davis, who created the company 13 years ago.
“I was about to turn 40, and I thought ‘If I'm going to do it, I'd better do it now, or I'll be 60 saying I should be doing that,” Davis told KTVB.
However, starting a theatre is not cheap. That’s why Davis saved some money doing most of the work himself. The rest he asked his summer staff of ‘players’ to do.
Most of those actors and actresses come from all around the Northwest, and many have never heard of Crouch, Idaho.
And while other actors work on their chops -- so to speak -- this group works on their cuts, and brushes, and heavy lifting.
“It gives them a feeling of belonging. It helps them to own what they are doing,” Davis says.
Actress Angie Anderson has been here since the beginning. “I came opening night and they couldn't get rid of me,” Anderson confesses.
Now she helps with rehearsal, runs the box office, and does “whatever needs to be done.”
Anderson also says she knows it's the scenic surroundings that helps keep the actors and the audience coming back to Garden Valley. “We have people that have never been to the theatre and they see the wildlife --they get hooked,” Anderson explained.
What’s perhaps even more interesting is that Ed Davis knows his theatre is far from finished because every year he adds something new – with a little help from his friends.
The Starlight Mountain Theatre opens June 1st with "Fiddler on the Roof." The theater will have three other productions throughout the summer including “Cinderella,” “Legally Blonde,” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.”