Stevensville Playhouse is performing a new comedy called The Outsider filled with political comedy and parody starting Friday, Oct. 15.
Director Dean Diers said the production is somewhat of a satire with a non-partisan slant and the first production since the Covid pandemic that started last March for Montana.
“We’re very excited to resume a full-slate of shows for this fall and next spring as well,” Diers said. “We’re full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes.”
He said the political play doesn’t take a side, “but includes vigorous debates in our society right now and discusses the things we probably should keep in mind.”
The plot is that Ned Newley, a competent individual but poor politician, becomes the governor of a small state through circumstances beyond his control.
“He makes a choice about how he will present himself to the public with plenty of help from people who say, ‘we should do it this way’ or ‘we should do it that way,’” Diers said. “One the characters is political consultant Arthur Vance who said if American’s elect poor politicians he has found a gold mine in Ned Newley, the new state governor.”
It turns out that Newley is a competent man who presents a new way of doing government that serves the people well.
“It is an interesting discourse of politics and what we expect out of our political leaders, in a fun way,” Diers said. “It is just a hoot, and is very timely and thought-provoking. I’ve enjoyed the production a great deal and am getting into it.”
Diers is the director but suddenly also an actor - political consultant, Arthur Vance.
“It has been fun and challenging,” Diers said.
The Stevensville Playhouse Board of Directors is also trying to figure out how to proceed with staging a production in the time of a pandemic.
“Numbers were going the wrong way in late August and September when we started the production, but we decided to persevere,” Diers said. “I’m glad we did.”
Diers said people will enjoy the production that is timely, thought-provoking and funny.
“The way the writer has presented the show hits on several different fronts,” he said.
His favorite moment is the exchange between the new governor and the political consultant trying to mold him when Ned rises above that category and asserts himself as his own man.
Diers said having community theatre is a positive experience.
“The life of our community has given us this creative outlet and people buy into it,” he said. “It keeps our valley vibrant. We need the positives, we’re bombarded with the negatives all the time but here’s some good news. Laughing at ourselves is always a healthy thing.”
The Outsider is performed by Anniyah Pheil as Paige Caldwell, Gus Laursen as Dave Riley, Kimberly Duncan as Louise Peakes, Stephen Pheil as Governor Ned Newley, Dean Diers as political consultant
Arthur Vance, Mandy Pheil as Rachel Parsons and Russ Bargabos and A.C. Peterse.
Madison Duncan is running lights and sound.
Sponsors are A2Z Personnel, Ace Hardware, Clearwater Credit Union, First Security Bank, Harpers Bitterroot Tire Center, TrailWest Bank, and Western Building Center Show Sponsors: Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co., P.C., McLaren HVAC and Super 1.
“The Outsider” is a timely and hilarious comedy that skewers politics and celebrates democracy. “The Outsider” will be performed at the Stevensville Playhouse at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 15, 16, 22, and 23, and at 2 p.m. on Sundays, Oct. 17 and 24. Make reservations by calling 406-777-2722, or online at www.stevensvilleplayhouse.org.