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Photo Page, Nervous Theatre

The curtain at The Ellen Theatre, photographed on Sept. 16, 2022, during Nervous Theatre rehearsal for Caucasian Chalk Circle.

The play Caucasian Chalk Circle was written in 1944 by German playwright, Bertolt Brecht. Set in the Caucasus region (hence the name) at the end of World War II, it follows Grusha, a maid to a wealthy family, and the family’s baby, whom she saved during the war.

But performed by Bozeman production company, Nervous Theatre, it takes on a different tone. For one, it’s shorter. Under normal circumstances, a Brecht play will take three to four hours. Nervous Theatre gets it done in two.


The cast of Caucasian Chalk Circle is also small, with only four actors. Connor Berkompas, a founding member of Nervous Theatre, has three roles in the production: director, artistic director and narrator.

Nervous Theatre

Danielle N. Sather, who plays the lead character, Grusha, rehearses a scene in the Caucasian Chalk Circle at The Ellen Theatre on Sept. 16, 2022.

Nervous Theatre

Connor Berkompas and Isabel Shaida lay on the floor at the beginning of a general Nervous Theatre movement practice on Sept. 14, 2022, at The Ellen Theatre.

Nervous Theatre

Performers Isabel Shaida and Gabriel Taurman pose for a photo using the trap door on The Ellen Theatre stage on Sept. 16, 2022.

Nervous Theatre

Connor Berkompas and Isabel Shaida participate in a Nervous Theatre movement practice on Sept. 14, 2022, at The Ellen Theatre.

Nervous Theatre

Performer Gabriel Taurman poses for a photo during a Caucasian Chalk Circle rehearsal at The Ellen Theatre on Sept. 16, 2022.

Nervous Theatre

Performer Isabel Shaida maps out a scene during a Caucasian Chalk Circle rehearsal at The Ellen Theatre on Sept. 16, 2022.

Nervous Theatre

Sympathie The Clown, Connor Berkompas, Isabel Shaida, Danielle N. Sather, and Gabriel Taurman attend a Caucasian Chalk Circle rehearsal at The Ellen Theatre on Sept. 16, 2022.

Nervous Theatre

Danielle N. Sather, who plays the main character, Grusha, helps map out a scene in the Caucasian Chalk Circle during rehearsal at The Ellen Theatre on Sept. 16, 2022.

Nervous Theatre

Connor Berkompas and Isabel Shaida participate in a Nervous Theatre movement practice on Sept. 14, 2022, at the Ellen Theatre.

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Rachel Leathe can be reached at 406-582-2678 or rleathe@dailychronicle.com

Rachel Leathe is a Chronicle staff photographer. She can be reached at rleathe@dailychronicle.com.

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