WMPAC Summer begins
Theater, dance and music return in person this July
While best known for its winter season, the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center has also established itself as a source for dynamic summer entertainment. During the pandemic, artists and performers continued to create new work, and WMPAC is pleased to present three incredible shows that were born in that period of creative incubation.
“This summer’s line-up isn’t a ‘return’ to the theater, because we never left,” explains John Zirkle, WMPAC’s Executive Director. “It’s a continuation. You’ll see us incorporate new techniques and technology into the hallmarks of WMPAC summer: personal relationships with our community and our creators, the joy of seeing new work live, and the artistic process at work.”
The first performance of the summer, on Sunday, July 11th, will be an episode of a new musical, Keep Your Head Down, which was commissioned last summer as part of WMPAC’s virtual Big Sky Summer Theatre Festival. This year, the project takes a leap forward with in-person performances from all of the artists. Keep Your Head Down is an episodic musical that uses docu-style interviews, original songs, and animation to debunk myths about the Asian-American experience.
The timely and provocative show is now in development for a limited TV series. Audiences will see an episode of that series adapted for the stage, and get to discuss the process and material with the actors and creative team, lead by Ari Afsar and director Jess McLeod, after the show.
On July 17th, Big Sky’s favorite dance company, James Sewell Ballet, returns. The hyper-collaborative and inventive group, locally known for performing in ski boots, will team up with regional choir Roots in the Sky for a unique combination of movement and sound. Zirkle says the show will specifically highlight the joys of togetherness we’ve all been missing.
To close out the summer season, the renowned Grammy-winning vocal group The Crossing returns for two unforgettable outdoor concerts in the same vein as the sold-out nordic ski experience and piano concert of last winter. “We loved breaking out of the mold of the theater to present a show, and are excited to keep pushing those boundaries,” says Zirkle.
The concerts will take place on Friday, July 30 and Saturday, July 31. On Friday, vocalists stationed along a trail through the forest at the Jack Creek Preserve will provide “a new voice every 50 feet, as if the music is developing as you walk through it,” Zirkle explains. On Saturday, July 31, audiences will walk to a stunning mountain meadow above Moose Creek in the canyon with Cache Creek Outfitters for a literal surround-sound experience. The group will perform a different piece both nights to better reflect each location, providing two unique and unforgettable experiences.