Producing Director/Music Director
“Maestro,” “Eighty-eight,” “Flying Fingers,” “Piano Wrecker,” and “Mr. Orchestra” are among the affectionate epithets for D.J., who proudly hails from itsy-bitsy Gruver, Iowa. He began playing church hymns on the family piano at age two-and-a-half, flummoxing the baby sitter. Before his feet reached the pedals, he performed his first paid “gig,” playing and singing Rubber Duckie for the local Kiwanis Club in the neighboring town of Estherville (He still has the $10 check)—a career was launched. Fast-forward fifty-plus years and no one is more surprised than D.J. that he is still playing in the show business sandbox. Pianist, director, writer, producer, composer, lyricist, conductor, music-director, arranger, dance musician, opera singer, actor…his credits are myriad. A much sought-after collaborator, he has steered or appeared in over 250 productions of some ninety musicals, operas, tours, concerts, revues and cabarets across the country and abroad, affording him the great fortune of working with some of Show-Biz’s crème -de-la crème. Yet he is proudest of every moment spent here at The Opera House Theatre. Jonn Jorgensen brought him here, David Mills-Low got him back, and Tim and Claudette Dringle became dear friends and family. Great fortune, indeed! “Thank you for supporting live theatre in general and THIS theatre in particular!”
Nathan Adkins is an actor, writer and director, currently based out of Missoula, Montana. This will be Nathan’s fourth season with the Opera House, and he is beyond thrilled to be directing The Tin Woman for the 2017 season. Philipsburg audiences may remember him as Norman in Neil Simon’s The Star Spangled Girl, the titular character in Larry Shue’s The Nerd, Richard in Making God Laugh, and Todd, the Scottish hitman in Unnecessary Farce. Other favorite roles include James in Book of Days, Konstantin in The Seagull, Steve, the romantic burn-out, in Ron Fitzgerald’s Cyclone, and, most recently, Jasper in BetweenTheLines Theatre’s production of The Aliens. Nathan would like to thank D.J. Gommels, Tim and Claudette, David Mills-Low, his family, MAG, and you, for supporting live theatre in Montana.
Don is very happy and excited to be invited back to the Opera House Theatre Company for a second straight year to direct again after directing “Unnecessary Farce” last summer. “Last summer was such an wonderful experience working with an incredibly talented, passionate group of professionals. To be part of it again is a dream come true. Not only did I get to be part of an amazing tradition working in the opera house, but my son Rocky was invited to share in the experience. Everyone took Rocky under their wing, and made him feel like part of the company.” Rocky will be accompanying Don again this summer as a creative consultant, pointing out who has their lines best memorized, and what moments in the show don’t really work. Don’s professional experience includes 25 years in children’s theatre, as well as working with the Virginia City Players.
Tim Eastman is excited to join the Opera House Theatre Company for his fifth time. After leaving home in Portland Oregon, Tim earned his Master’s degree in Acting at the University of Mississippi. This enabled him to work in theatres in places as div
erse as Bigfork, Montana to Galveston, Texas. Eventually making his way to New York, he appeared off-Broadway and on the national tours of Brigadoon as Tommy, and as Orin in the national tour of Little Shop of Horrors. He also appeared in the latter role at Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City. Regionally, he has performed in I Do I Do at the Bathhouse Theater, and as Stephano in the Tempest with Greenstage Theater in Seattle. He has appeared at the Village Theater in Damn Yankees, and with Spokane Interplayers, where he played Tom in Dinner with Friends and Victor in Private Lives. He has worked with Studio East in Kirkland, WA as an instructor and directed 1000 Cranes, which he is very proud of! He refuses to admit to directing High School Musical seven times, because it causes him to break out in a rash. His other works of which he is proud of, are The Narrator, as a guest artist for the University of Western Washington’s production of Into the Woods, Sidney Bruhl in Deathtrap, John Barrymore in I Hate Hamlet, Frank in Through the Woods, and Captain Hook in Peter Pan. Most recently he appeared at the Sierra Repertory Company in Big River.
Linda Lippencott Grinde
This is Linda’s second season with OHTC. Last year she appeared as a controlling mother, the evil leader of a Scottish mafia, and a chicken. For this she went to graduate school and got an MFA in directing from the professional training program at Southern Methodist University. She has directed plays and musicals in theaters around Montana and helped to produce two one-woman shows. She was last seen on stage in the Missoula Community Theater’s production of The Producers, where she descended a staircase with a 4 foot sausage on her head (no one else would do it). Linda hopes to bring that level of confidence and daring to everything she does.
It was 13 years ago the first time Heidi performed for the Opera House Theater, and she is ecstatic to have the opportunity to return to what she refers to as “her second home.” After becoming a mom of two beautiful blessings, Naomi (6) & Elijah (3) she is
now ready to re-ignite her passion for acting and feels so blessed to have the opportunity to have her own children watch her perform on stage. During her four previous seasons with OHTC, Heidi performed in 12 multi-dimensional roles. Some of her favorite roles include: Maggie (Lend me a Tenor), Mary Smith (Run For Your Wife), and the role that will always be held close to her heart, Emma Cristano (Over the River and Through the Woods). After a 7 year break from the world of acting, where Heidi focused on being a mom and developing her understanding of who she was, she is ready to add show number 13 to her resume. Heidi is hoping that acting is like riding a bike—once you learn, you never forget. Let’s just hope this is the case!! Heidi would like to express her gratitude to Tim and Claudette for the blessing that it is to return to a place that feels like home, her husband Mike, for being so supportive, Beth, KC, and Maureen for being flexible with her work schedule, and most of all to God, who has beautifully orchestrated all of the events that has led up to this moment. Heidi believes that it is not by chance that she is back in P-Burg, but believes it is a gift from God, and for this, she is extremely grateful. It is her hope that as you are watching the show, you are transformed into another world for a brief time. A time where all other worries and stress melt away… Enjoy the show!
Hudson Therriault is entering his third year at the University of Montana, majoring in acting and minoring in costume design. He spends too much money on clothes, too little on food, and just enough on toilet paper. If you’re wondering if that jacket goes with those shoes, he’s your guy. Recently performing in roles such as The Monster in Dracula and Milton, the chimpanzee, in All in the Timing. Hudson finds his home in physical acting, making him all the more excited to play “Jack” in The Tin Woman this season at OHTC. This is his first time on the Philipsburg stage, and is looking forward to experiencing all the rich culture and history that the Opera House holds.
Maisie is delighted to be returning to the Opera House for her second season. A recent graduate of The University of Montana, she earned her degree in English Literature with minors in Vocal Performance and Political Science. Favorite roles include the Invalid in Sorry Wrong Number, Mrs. Q in the musical melee 5 Carols for Christmas, Fantine in the parody Less Miserables, Leilani in Legally Blonde the Musical, and Sarah in the Opera House’s 2015 production of First Things First. In her free time she enjoys yoga, meditation, and sunbathing – at least she probably would if she had the time to try them out. Special thanks to the Producers, the incomparable Mr. Gommels, our matchless Company Manager, the Gos-Squad, and you. Enjoy the show!
Chloe is thrilled to be making her debut with the Opera House Theatre! A Seattle native, she has worked with The Arden Theater, 11th Hour Theater Co. (Philadelphia), Seattle Shakespeare Company, among others. Favorite credits include: Into the Woods, Legally Blonde, Chicago, Spoon River Anthology. Chloe graduated Cum Laude from the University of the Arts where she earned her BFA in Theater. She currently resides in NYC. For mom and dad. chloermm.com
Light Tech / Stage Manager
Adam Wood was born and raised in Great Falls Montana. He has spent every summer since 2011 working on local Montana theatre and film. He is beginning his third year at the University of Montana, pursuing a BFA in lighting and audio. He has designed lighting for multiple dance pieces at the university within this past year, and was the master electrician for “Thinner Than Water” and “Dance New Works”. This is his first season at the Opera House and he can’t wait to see what it has in store.