• Kristin Bringhurst credits the cast and crew as they prep for the 30th anniversary of the summer event.
In the spring of 2007 Kristin Bringhurst took her daughter Taylor to the auditions of the Rock Church Summer Theatre. As Taylor was reading her lines, the director of the play asked Kristin to join her on the stage and read the lines of the accompanying character. When they were done Taylor had a part in the play and the directer asked Kristin, “Have you ever thought about being in a play?” It was the right question to ask but it changed the summers for the Bringhurst family for years to come.
Kristin and Taylor continued in that performance and in many more in the years to come. Later they were joined by brothers Logan and Adam. Eventually Stu, husband and father, joined them on the condition that he got Kristin to forego the following summer’s production.
“One year we needed one more man so I asked Stu,” Kristen recalled. “I had to dangle a carrot — I asked him to be in the play if I took the next summer off.”
She continued, “It was fun to have him in the play and true to my word I took the year off.” She wasn’t gone long and she returned in the summer of 2017.
Kristin returned because she cares about the production and the place she calls home. “It is a lot of work,” she acknowledges, but quickly adds, “It is so fun for me. I really have a passion about all things theater. Plus, I love Star Valley so much.”
She continued, “I’m so grateful I got to grow up here. I’m really grateful to have moved back in 1999. I feel super blessed to be a native of Star Valley and love how this play brings in the history of Star Valley. It just makes it so fun and entertaining and people get a chance to be on stage, learn about Star Valley and develop their acting skills.”
Over the years, Kristin worked directly with one of the founding members of the summer theatre, Allene Heiner Robinson. She wrote the first play and several more in subsequent years, but with changing health conditions she eventually asked Kristin to take over the traditional summer event.
Kristin is quick to acknowledge Allene and all those who helped with the play over the years.
In addition to Allene, she recalled the work of Venice Lancaster, Ruth Wood (Allen), Janette Nelson, Judy Rose, Teri Hoop, Charity Heiner, Robin Mousley and Traci Sellers.
Playwrights have included: Allene Heiner Robinson, who wrote most of the plays; Ruth Wood, who wrote and directed two plays, Teri Hoop, wrote one play and Traci Sellers wrote one play.
Key to the production are Laurie Hyde, overseeing costumes; Eileen Humphreys, music director and pre-show scheduler and Melanie Seilbach, who handles set design, costumes, advertising, T-shirt design, programs and doubles scheduler.
Bringhurst added, “I want to express a huge thanks to these awesome ladies and also to the historical society who sponsors this production and is so great to work with.”
She emphasized, “It has been so fun to get to work with so many wonderful and talented actors and cast members over the years. I am definitely going to miss it.”
Reflecting on the years, Kristin concluded, “I have attended the play every year since we moved back to Star Valley in 1999. I have been enjoying the Rock Church Summer Theater for 24 years.
“This is my 14th year being involved with acting and directing. I looked through all the years and there was only one of those 14 years when I just directed but was not in the play.”
2023 marks the 30th anniversary for the Rock Church Summer Theatre. Under the direction of the Star Valley Historical Society, the program opened in 1993. One year was missed because of COVID.
2023 also marks the 40th anniversary of the Star Valley Historical Society.