Break a Leg

Eagle Theatre Company Takes the Stage with First Production

Article by Jordan Gray

Photography by Eagle Theatre Company

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

The lights go up. The actors hit their marks. And three years after its first planning meeting, Eagle Theatre Company (ETC) will see its first production come to life.

“Having lived in Eagle for over 20 years and seen the growth and influx of new people, I was sure Eagle could support its own theater,” Cofounder, Charter Board Member, and ETC President Deborah Hertzog said.

Hertzog wasn’t alone.

“I addressed the Eagle Arts Commission (EAC) in December 2019 and shared my interest in starting a theatre in Eagle,” she said. “Following the EAC meeting, Vicki Walch, one of the commissioners, shared that a 2018 Arts Survey showed interest in the performing arts and that a ‘performing arts working group’ had met to share ideas. Bethany Bertulis had participated in this group and soon the three of us stepped up as cofounders of a new theatre.”

The ETC board picked up additional volunteers, Kathryn Hendricksen and Jim Walch, and settled on Eagle Theatre Company as a name. COVID paused everything, but the group picked back up in 2021 with a roundtable discussion at Eagle City Hall: ‘Let's Start a Community Theatre.’

“In the course of a year, more dedicated volunteers (Linda Odom, Irina Kazakova, Ross Ely, and Siobhan Reynolds) joined the board,” Hertzog said. “We developed bylaws, a business plan, launched a charter membership drive, kicked off a fundraising plan, bimonthly Community Gatherings, and planned our first production, ‘An Evening of One-Acts.’”

The one-acts, “A Mad Breakfast” and “Graceland,” will play at Eagle Performing Arts Center (1125 E. State Steet) January 27, 28, and 29 and February 11 and 12, and at the Idaho Association of Community Theatre Festival (100 E. Fort St, Boise) February 3 and 4.

“Deciding to participate in the festival was a manageable goal, and gave us a direction and a timeline,” Hertzog said.

“It’s a really fun ride to be able to work with a startup,” “A Mad Breakfast” Director Rick Anderson said. “Everything’s new. Everything’s the first time. It’s a tremendous amount of positive energy. This is a wonderful opportunity to be able to help establish a community theater.”

“Taking the first steps with a new theatre company is always an exciting prospect,” “Graceland” Director Joseph Wright said. “It's like creating the first page of memory book, knowing that as a director, you will be giving audiences their first impression of what lies ahead. It's even more interesting that the first production is a double-dip: two one-acts with two different styles and directors.”

"An Evening of One-Acts" will serve as the first of two productions in ETC’s inaugural partial season, with a full-length play planned for the end of April. ETC plans to stage its first full season in 2023-2024, utilizing the EPAC space.

“We brainstormed various possibilities in Eagle for a venue,” Hertzog said. She met with Liz Keller, the director of EPAC (a ballet school) and the Idaho Regional Ballet. “Liz gave me a tour, and I knew their black box theatre would work great for ETC. Liz shared they had always wanted their venue to be utilized by community groups, so our partnership was established right then. We lease space for our Community Gatherings and will hold our future productions at EPAC.”

If performing arts are your thing, ETC is ready for you.

“There's a place for everybody at ETC: on stage, backstage, or in the audience,” Hertzog said.

To learn more or purchase tickets, visit eagletc.org.

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