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Playmill tradition continue after more than 50 years

The Playmill Theatre in West Yellowstone has been around for more than 50 years. As people come in they’re treated to pre – show numbers by cast members.

They can join in on the fun with a good old-fashioned sing-along.

And they can even get recognized for birthdays and anniversaries.

The Playmill is known for presenting musicals

” Music Man, ” ” Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, ” and ” The Foreigner ” are the three plays this season.

The cast is made up largely of college students from Idaho and Utah – many majoring in theater and getting a chance to perform their art.

But there are a number of children in the show as well. They are having a blast performing and being with the college kids.

“I like that we can always be in front of the audience,” Preslie Severn said.

“What I like is the bonding with the cast. Even thought they’re college kids you get to hang around with them,” Grant Gugelman said.

One unique feature of the theater is how close the audience is. Performers say that can be an advantage.

“It’s so close. You’re sitting right on the stage. Your feet are on the stage. You get to see everything come in and out right by you, ” Brynoch Rammel said.

Heidi Merrill who has directed here with her husband for 33 years says coming here is a family tradition for many.

“They just consider it as part of the thing they do as a family. They get together. They come to The Playmill and go into Yellowstone,” Merrill said.

It’s certainly been a tradition for the Browning family.

“We’ve brought our family for over 20 years and it’s just a fun place to come, ” Toni Browning said.

“I feel like every summer our family comes to Island Park, and we always make a trip to The Playmill. It’s our favorite, ” Staci Browning said.

The family theme extends to the cast as well.

“We really get to know each other. We spend a lot of time during the day doing other things together like exploring Yellowstone, ” Merrill said.

There’s a lot to be impressed by in this show, not the least of which is that the whole cast learned to play the trombone for a surprise finale.

For show and ticket information go to

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