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West Yellowstone dinner theater about to start its new season

BYU-Idaho Radio · The Playmill Theatre is starting its new season of shows
The Playmill Theatre in West Yellowstone is starting its new season Friday, May 26, with Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”  

“Every cast is different, but they’re all awesome,” said Joey Hokulani, a Playmill Player on his third year with the theatre. “The dynamic’s different every year. Some people are really outgoing and really funny. Some people are a bit more shy, but super talented, so the dynamic kind of shifts based on one or two people being there or not.” 

Every year the theatre holds auditions in the wintertime, and casts are decided after callbacks. In more recent years, the audition has required potential cast members to send a video of them singing two audition songs, and then showing off any relevant skills for that year’s group of shows. Hokulani said when he first auditioned for a role, he sent a video showing off his gymnastics abilities, which he said was useful for that year’s production of “Newsies.” 

Cast-members get the chance to know the actual theater space during callbacks, and after that experience cast lists come out. Even non-principal players play a big role in shows, though, because chorus members not only make up every background character for all three shows, but also help to move set-pieces, and serve food to audience members before the show.  

 “Our bread and butter is connecting with our audience, and it’s the best part,” Hokulani said. “We have people that come in five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten shows every summer. They’ll just keep coming back and we get to know them, and they get to know us, and it’s like they become a part of our family.” 

Hokulani said that one of the best ways for new audiences to get the most out of the experience is to really get familiar with the cast-members, and to feel open to being open as an audience member. 

“We love it when there’s an expressive audience, and it kind of helps us to play better,” he said. “You know, we can play off that a little bit more, but also, it’s just more fun for the audience, you know? To let them be free and experience it the way they want to.” 

You can buy tickets for this season's shows on the Playmill Theatre's website