MAT performs ‘Haymarket Eight’ as readers’ theater

MAT performs ‘Haymarket Eight’ as readers’ theater

Jay Pyette

November 3, 2016, by Paul Dragu, Havre Daily News

Montana Actors’ Theatre will be doing readers’ theatre Friday and Saturday evenings at Montana State University-Northern’s Little Theatre as nine actors will be reading the “Haymarket Eight” script.

The event, the first of its kind in Havre, will began at 8 p.m. both nights and last about an hour.

Founder and Artistic Director of MAT Jay Pyette, who is be one of the actors, said readers’ theater is “basically a dramatic reading of a script.”

“Haymarket Eight,” by Derek Goldman and Jessica Thebus, is a fictional story based on the real-life aftermath of a bombing that happened at a labor demonstration May 4, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago.

A summary of the play says: “With this tumultuous period blazing around them, a young couple dares to fall in love. But the infamous bombing at a labor rally in Haymarket Square forces the reporter to investigate the wrongfully convicted bombers. The lives of eight men are in the balance and this reporter puts his life on the line to try and clear their names.”

“Even though the events are old, it’s so relevant today, especially animosity toward foreigners, xenophobia,” Pyette said, adding that German workers were the target of xenophobia during the time of the events.

One of the sponsors for the event is Paul Tuss, whose son Dolan Tuss is one of the nine actors. Pyette said the script, for Paul Tuss, is also a dedication to his wife, Pam Hillery, who died Sept. 14.

“This is very much the kind of script Pam would enjoy,” Pyette said.

The other actors are Ty Hedalen, Rachel Dean, Merrill Gray, Mary Beth Blankenship, Kate Hagen-Smith, Ty Pyette and Patrick Ulano.

Pyette said there are plans for MAT to do another readers’ theater production, “The Exonerated,” next spring.

© 2022 Montana Actors' Theatre