Name: Sarah Bell
From: Long ago, California. When we moved to Big Sky Country I was still a scrappy kid whose ambition in life was to be a horse.
Lives: Kalispell, MT
Go-To Cycling Snack: Apples & almond butter
Cyclist Rating: I cycle for the smiles, mostly with friends!
How did you hear about Agile Rascal and what made you want to do it?
I was planning my first bikepacking overnight, mapping a route and renting bags at the Whitefish Bike Retreat. A casual conversation with the Retreat’s owner turned to my theatrical education and pursuits. She knew about Agile Rascal’s plan to tour Montana and immediately offered to connect us! Cycling theatre artists?! The two tidy but separate lives I was living suddenly came crashing together with possibility. I had to meet this tribe!
What is bicycle touring theatre to you?
Bicycle touring theatre is storytelling of the people, for the people, pedaled by some people who are willing to travel a mile in their audience’s shoes! It’s fiercely independent and a real conversation starter.
Please tell us an embarrassing cycling story.
I was once asked on a date by a fellow cyclist at a stoplight. I said yes and we had dinner at the very next restaurant we passed! So cute! After dinner we hopped back on our bikes and within seconds a cat ran out in front of me and I –hit the cat–imagine how bad I felt as I flopped off my bike right in front of him! And–yeah, that was embarrassing on so many levels…
Tell us about your best free theatre experience.
This is cheating a little since I was working on the show, but I’m gonna say it was the final dress rehearsal of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Most of us in the room had seen the show several, if not several dozen times. We were ready to watch for the smallest of the small flaws left to fix. As the lights went up and the music started however, the energy coming from stage was so contagious and on point that it reached past any mindset of fatigue or criticism and drew me in like I had never been here before! I could feel the shift in everyone sitting around me, too. We lifted our faces out of our notepads and gave that energy right back to our friends singing in the spotlight. We hooted, hollered and cheered ourselves hoarse. There may have been sniffles and there was definitely dancing in the aisles!
What about Montana intrigues you?
Montana is the land of cowboys, dinosaurs and landscapes that send the imagination soaring! I’m still a kid at heart.
Why do you choose to do live theatre? Especially in a digital age.
The level of human connection in live theatre can be amazing. As a theatre technician I like to think the personal fingerprints of our sometimes old-fashioned artistry can be felt–carpentry, hand-painting and hand-stitched costumes. As a performer, you can feel the slack or the tension in the room moment by moment–nobody is having an experience in a vacuum!