Bill is honored to be directing the Players for their 69th season, in the Old Stone Barn Theater, otherwise known as the Opera House. He worked as the Company Manager of the Players from 1985-1987 and as the Artistic Director of both the Opera House and the Brewery Follies from 1988-1992. A graduate of Montana State University (GO BOBCATS!), he created The Firehouse 5 Playhouse in Livingston, MT which he owned and operated for ten years. He has taught both College courses and High School Speech & Drama. He has also worked with theater companies from Seattle to Missoula to Bozeman to Billings to Fort Collins, Colorado, for the past thirty years. He is very excited and honored to be keeping this theatre alive, historic and entertaining.
Company Manager / Actress
Christina loves being the Company Manager and an Actress for the Illustrious Virginia City Players. She holds an AA in Classical Vocal Performance and a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She has worked as a performer, Music Director, Lighting Designer, Scenic Designer and Stage Manager in various theatres around Denver. Her favorite roles include Barbara Ehrenreich in Nickel & Dimed, Lady Larkin in Once Upon a Mattress, Amjulitte in Frankenstein, Lili Fontaine in The Phantom of the Opera, and Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. Christina is thrilled and honored to be running the VC Players with her Artistic Director and husband, Bill Koch. When not on stage, she can be found playing the role of Madame Librarian at the Madison County Library in Virginia City!
John and Micki Benedict
John and Micki, of Benedict Builders, both moved to Madison County from the Midwest in 1974. John landed in Virginia City and Micki landed in the Ruby Valley, where they raised their children. Now both full-time residents of Virginia City they would never consider leaving because Virginia City truly is, “the last best place.” They were involved with the Virginia City Players in the past and loved every minute. They are very excited to be a part of this illustrious company once again!
Musical Director / Cremona Player / Actor
Robert Harsch has been an actor, technician, composer, musician, and sound designer in various locales, including Black Hills Playhouse, MCT Community Theater, Montana Repertory Theater, Blue Slipper Theater, and Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Favorite roles include Man In Chair in “The Drowsy Chaperone” (MCT, Jan. 2016) and the title role in VCP’s “The Phantom Of The Opera” (Aug. 2015). In the off-season he plays piano at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Missoula and this past autumn was Musical Director for “Peter & The Starcatcher” at his alma mater, University of Montana. He is a member of Musicians of Western Montana, Local No. 498-642 of The American Federation of Musicians.
Robert is delighted to be returning for a fifth [insert drunken hiccup here] season as Musical Director for The Illustrious Virginia City Players, creating original scores for the melodramas and assembling the variety vignettes with the rest of the variably vigorous vagrants.
Outside the theater, he is the personal Two-Legger for famous greyhound actress, Penny Lane.
Costume Designer / Actress
Now a full-time resident of Virginia City, Laura spent most of her life in Colorado where she owned and operated a sign company for twenty years with her husband Walter. Throughout her life she produced countless articles of clothing for everyday use, as well as, a wide variety of costumes. Laura is thrilled to be spending another summer as the Costume Designer for her daughter and son-in-law, Christina and Bill Koch. In addition to dressing the Players in gorgeous costumes, she has also performed as Marm Crockett in Davy Crockett, Widow Daus in Frankenstein, Molly Loveless in On the Gold Trail with Deadwood Dick, Madame Lorenzo in The Phantom of the Opera, Queen Beatrice in Sleeping Beauty, and Margaret in Robin Hood!
Stephen Alan Seder
Stage Manager / Media and Tech Design / Actor
Stephen is originally from Billings, Montana. His exploration of theatre began with local venues such as Venture Theatre, and Billings Studio Theatre. He has worked for a myriad of professional theatre companies including Helena Theatre Company, Experimental Theatre Cooperative, Myrna Loy Center, Grandstreet Theatre, Carroll College Theatre, Blue Slipper Theatre, and the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport, New York. In 2014, Stephen graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Montana where he studied Acting and Media Arts. This past year Stephen was an adjunct professor of media design, and interim technical director for Carroll College's Theatre Program. He worked on stunning projects such as The Big Magic, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, The Laramie Project, and The Little Mermaid. He is so excited to be back home in Virginia City for his 7th SEASON breathing life into more characters on the Opera House stage. Thank you so much for your patronage of the beautiful, and historic Virginia City Opera House. We love what we do here, and we love you for joining us. Enjoy the performance!
Front of House Manager / Actress
This summer is Alyssa’s fourth with the Virginia City Players. Returning audience members may recognize her as 2016’s Sleeping Beauty and the co-author of that season’s adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. In addition to her various acting and writing credits, she has also worked as a Director and Teaching Artist for St. Luke’s Performing Arts Academy in Denver. Alyssa grew up in Havre and earned her BFA in Theatre from The University of Montana.
Guess Hugh's back! Yes, back again is Hugh Butterfield, (tell a friend!) for his 3rd consecutive season with the Illustrious Virginia City Players, and he must say, what a pleasure it is. Last year saw him as the adorable Grumble in Sleeping Beauty, a belly-dancing King Tut, and Ichabod Crane in Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Now a spiffy college graduate, he’s spent the last year scraping by for existence by finding odd jobs and doing productions in Missoula, MT: There was The Rocky Horror Show as a Lizard Man with Montana Actors’ Theater; A Night of One Acts featuring work from Tennessee Williams with the Montana Williams Players; and the Dirty Sexy Chocolate Show, independently written and produced, performing at the Top Hat Lounge for it’s 3rd consecutive year. One might ask, “Where will Hugh go from here?” And after turning all the lights down now he smiles from ear to ear, “It’s a secret to everybody…”
Logan Custer has recently acted in renditions of Sleeping Beauty, The Lodger, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. He loves audience interaction and has a soft spot for both modern and classic Vaudeville. Some of his favorite roles include Renfield in Bram Stokers Dracula, Einstein in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles. He has a passion for all games, a love of philosophy, and brings enthusiastic joy to his theatre endeavors.
Actor / Fight Choreographer
Brandon couldn't be happier to be back at the Opera House. He first performed in the 2012 season and has been in love with it ever since. He achieved a BFA in Theatre Arts and a minor in dance from Central Washington University. Rip Van Winkle, Dr. Jekyll and Brom Bones are among his favorite VC roles. His aims for the summer include becoming better at all the aspects of theatre, because he believes there is always more to learn and always room for growth. Love and thanks to Kelley, Bill, Christina, Stephen, Marm, his fellow players over the years, and all his family and friends for continually being there on the other side of the lights.
Danielle is a returning player who is a 3rd year MFA Acting Candidate at the University of Montana. Prior to studying at the U, she received her MA from Texas A&M University in performance studies with an emphasis on prison theater. Most recently she was seen in Thinner Than Water playing Cassie. Following this summer you can catch her in UM's production of As You Like It playing Phoebe.
Arnold Smithson, a graduate of Sheridan High School, has always loved the theatre! From the box office to the acts to the effects, Arnold wants to learn it all. He has participated in several school-sponsored plays, ranging from Me and My Shadow to Arsenic and Old Lace. His favorite play has always been Sweeney Todd, since it was one of the first plays he ever saw. He is excited to finally contribute to the fantastic plays he’s seen since he was five, and wants to help the opera house thrive!