On my journey from Montana to Salt Lake, and then back through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, I knew I wanted to meet back up with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks on their remarkable adventures. I had my trusty little MSIP schedule in hand and quickly found where our paths could intersect in Miles City, Montana. From the mouth of Old Faithful I jetted northbound through the mountains, making a pitstop in Bozeman to pick up merchandise and supplies for the actors, and then hit the road eastward. After four hours of nonstop driving I pulled into the park in Miles City, greeted by the looming silhouette of the set amongst a grove of trees. It felt like coming home.
I immediately sprinted up the hill beyond the stage, running straight to the mouth of the Yellowstone river to release some energy and take in the wonderful place I had, yet again, found myself. Every step of this journey has been an endless series of realizations about how fortunate I am and how truly wonderful my life is, a life that I have made and shaped through my own decisions and actions. It is powerful to realize you have the control in your own future and destination, and here I found myself, meeting up with a world-class theater company in a windy grove in Miles City, MT at the side of the Yellowstone River.
I found myself a spot in the audience and one by one found the cast members, since only two of my friends knew I was coming. There was surprise and hugs before everyone had to start the show. Seeing Romeo and Juliet again after two weeks on the road was fascinating. Since the time they left the show has matured and evolved into a much more natural portrayal of events. It is so fascinating to see how each of the actors has worked with their characters and scenes and how fluidly it has matured. They themselves told me I would see a massive change, and it was clear that concepts and feelings about the show had solidified cohesively.
The wind blew through the grove of trees, the sunlight danced across the stage, and as the light started to fade the nearly full moon rose behind the set, illuminating Juliet in her final soliloquies. This was the epitome of theater, the bringing together of people from all different backgrounds to share in the telling of a life-changing story. You can do nothing but sit mesmerized as the telling unfolds, the wind whipping through your hair in the warm night breeze.
After the show was finished the set came down with practiced speed, pieces methodically lined up to be loaded into the Whale for tomorrow’s next excursion. I went back to my hotel and met up with everyone later in the evening, where we went to a bar in downtown Miles City to catch up. It was a great evening, swapping stories of where we’ve all been since we last saw each other, planning for meet-ups in Chicago once we’re all back together.
New friends, instant connections, wild west adventures. This is what my life is made of.