Where did you grow up and what were your earliest performance art activities?
I grew up right here in beautiful St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, and graduated from St. Croix Falls High School in 2007! I'm delighted to be back living in this beautiful town! I actually didn't engage much in performing arts until I was sixteen years old. Through a series of events, I was cast in my first role as Daddy Warbucks in Annie at St. Croix Falls High School! By the by, go see St. Croix Falls' high school production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat this weekend only!
Where did you study and/or earn your degree (special awards, etc.)
I received a BA-Psychology degree from UW-Stout in 2013, and a BA-Theatre degree from UMN - Twin Cities this past spring 2018! No special awards to speak of, but I have been privileged to work with a great many incredible performing artists, so that's an award in and of itself!
What were you up to before joining us this summer?
Graduating with a theatre degree and working as a barista! The past year was spent being in as much theatre as possible, which was intense, but also incredibly rewarding. I developed/directed two new shows of my very own, acted in six different shows, and finished out my degree with flying colors!
Some favorite roles include Bluebeard (Bluebeard's Dollhouse), Leonardo Da Vinci (Flying & Falling), Van Helsing (Dracula), Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), Mr. Peachum (The Threepenny Opera), Collatinus (The Rape of Lucretia), and Bottom (A Midsummer Night's Dream). Here at Festival I've loved all my roles, but Sancho Panza (Man of La Mancha) is my favorite so far!
Are there any aspects of your training in the theatre arts that you wish to share?
My first official training the theatre arts that was legitimately lifechanging came from the absolutely incredible Kym Longhi, as she shared a physical acting methodology known as Margolis Method with me my sophomore year in college. It's this incredible style that focuses on the energy between actors, objects, audiences, and everything. Anybody who has the slightest interest in theatre work would do well to look into Margolis Method workshops held in Minneapolis by the wonderful Combustible Company! The UMN - Twin Cities BA program was wonderfully eclectic and extremely helpful in learning about many different forms of theatre-making and their faculty is full of incredible artists and people that also happen to put their all into helping their students succeed.
Festival Theatre is so lucky that you've joined the full time staff! What are you most looking forward to about your new job?
Festival has been so vital to my own growth as a professional performing artist. Not only is the work incredibly high quality, but the culture of Festival Theatre is warm, inviting, and vibrant. It's an honor to be a part of that culture, and as marketing director, I am delighted to find the best ways to invite this community to share in that. Festival first shared it with me and it was lifechanging, and I can't wait to share it with the community at large as best as I can!
Miracle on 34th Street opens in about three weeks, and it's shaping up to be a wonderful, charming show! We have some incredible professional actors working on this one, Jason Richards (Festival's artistic director is an absolute ace of a director, and it's delightful to also share the stage with eight local youth actors who get to have a taste of professional theatre and share their talents in an extremely charming story. I love that a big part of Festival Theatre's artistry involves community outreach while maintaining a professional quality. I am a product of that community outrreach!
What is one fun fact about Isaac Bont?
This past summer I learned to juggle and play the drums! They are now part of my daily practice routine of juggling > piano > drums > Margolis Method work > Line work!
What do you like to do for fun?
At the moment, my spare time consists of studying books about graphic design, as that's a part of my job that is a little foreign to me! I love books, movies, tv shows, videogames, being out with friends, food, hiking, exercising, and of course acting!
Theatre is collaboration on steroids. Collaboration in a positive, creative environment like theatre is addictive and inspires me to be collaborative in all aspects of my life! As an actor, I love how empathetic I feel as I try to dive into stories/personas outside of my own perspective. Each acting opportunity is a chance to empathize and live out the experience of an "other" which I find deeply rewarding. Empathy and collaboration are my highest values that theatre brings out of me like none other.
If you were on a desert island and could only have 3 things, what would they be?
I'm really into a book called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, I'd love to have a full encyclopedia of everything in the universe (such as a version of wikipedia in book form) so that I could continuously learn all about this crazy world, the history, and everything. And I'd love to have some sort of musical instrument that I wouldn't be able to construct myself. Right now, I'd say that instrument would be a harp, but I'm not sure why that comes to mind!