Bill is honored to be directing the Players for their 68th 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.
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, 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!
Robert 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, January 2016) and the title role in VCP’s The Phantom Of The Opera (August 2015). He was Musical Director for Montana Actors Theater’s The Rocky Horror Show at The Wilma in October 2016. He has played in rock and jazz bands and composed music for stage, TV & radio dramas, documentary videos, and audio guided tours of Yellowstone National Park & The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. 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 his fourth 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 varied vigorous vagrants.
Outside the theater, he is the personal Two-Legger for famous greyhound actress, Penny Lane.
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, and Queen Beatrice in Sleeping Beauty! This season, she will be gracing the stage once again as the, "lovely," tavern owner in Robin Hood!
Stephen is entering his sixth consecutive season with the Players! Originally from Billings, Stephen grew up exploring theatre in local venues such as Venture Theatre and Billings Studio Theatre. After having received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Montana where he studied Acting and Media Arts he moved to Helena where he worked for the Helena Theatre Company, Experimental Theatre Cooperative, and Carroll College’s Theatre Department. This past year Stephen served as a Speech and Debate Coach for the Helena School District and dedicates his work this season to his talented students and amazing fellow coaches Chloe, Jen, Andrew, Derek, Tessa, Ben, and Brandon. Most recently Stephen performed as the title role in The Giver at Grandstreet Theatre and is super excited to be back in Virginia City bringing more characters to life 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!
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.
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.
Kelley Pierre is from Bozeman, Montana, with a BFA in Performance from Central Washington University. For the last four years, Kelley has been living and working in NYC: performing in web series, children's theatre, and a slew of NYU film projects. Now back for her 5th season with the Players, Kelley is honored to continue the VCP tradition and overjoyed to be reunited with her Players family. Kelley would like to extend a special thank you this season to Mom and Pop Pierre. No daughter ever dreamt of better parents. So much love to you both.
An Army Brat, Cody grew up most of his life in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He began working in the performing arts in his final semester of high school back in 2010. Two years later he decided to make it his field of study. He graduated in May 2016 from the University of Montana with his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre specializing in Acting, and an Entertainment Management Certificate. Cody has performed in various types of stage productions, from Much Ado About Nothing and Book of Days, to Mary Poppins and A Chorus Line. Cody has also been known to perform in dance shows and while living in Saint Louis he was featured in four short films with Super Movie Bros.
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.
Grace Hill is a student at Central Lake High School in northern Michigan. She was a Montana resident for many years but then recently moved to Michigan. Grace has been no stranger to the Opera House and has been in many of their shows including Frankenstein, Rip Van Winkle, and the Christmas in July shows. Grace's favorite roles have been Amy Frankenstein in Frankenstein and Shadow in Me and My Shadow. Grace intends to go to the University of Montana to get her BFA and play college softball. She is excited to return to her home in Virginia City and be working with the greats!
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!