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New UI Musical Bridges Hearts Through the Arts

This week, the curtain will rise to reveal University of Idaho’s new musical production, “Amélie (The Musical).”

The 2017 Broadway adaptation of the beloved 2001 French film has hit the stages of theaters across the country. The play follows a shy young woman, Amélie, in her struggle to find connection, often living in her own daydreams and crafting secret moments of kindness for those around her.

The Arts as Community Service

Craig A. Miller, director of the musical, said the play is the UI Theater Arts Department’s way of giving back to the community.

"Putting plays on and putting musicals on is a community service. It's food for the soul and we take that responsibility very seriously,” he said.

As Moscow has faced its own set of challenges in the past year, Miller said that theater can help rebuild the community.

"This musical is a healer from top to bottom,” he said. “It is just absolutely delightful to watch a singular human being realize the power of kindness, realize the power that they have to change people's day.”

Miller said that through Amélie’s acts of service to transform her community, she experiences immense renewal of her own heart as well.

A Desire to Connect

Elise Von Bargen, one of the two double-cast leads for Amélie alongside Monica Evans, said her character reflects many of our own innately human struggles to connect in the face of vulnerability.

“We're built to love, and we're built to connect with people, and we're even built to get our hearts broken and to have bad days and to have bad times but there's nothing we can't handle,” Von Bargen said. “It's a really important step in any person's life to take the risk of connection, of true connection with someone.”

As a student herself, Von Bargen encouraged all UI students to attend the production.

“I think that theater, live theater specifically, is a really beautiful thing to be able to go and experience especially as a student, for free,” she said. “You can go see it whenever you want!”

“Amélie (The Musical)” opens at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 26 and will run through Nov. 5 at the Hartung Theater, 625 Stadium Drive, Moscow. U of I student tickets are free. More information and a full list of showtimes can be found on the UI website at Tickets are at or can be acquired at the door of the Hartung Theater, 30 minutes before the show begins.

By Maggie Hunter, October 2023

Maggie Hunter is a sophomore studying International Studies and Journalism at the University of Idaho. She wrote this story in JAMM 121: Media Writing, taught by Professor Tara Roberts. Maggie is from Boise, Idaho, and intends to pursue a career in international journalism.

"Amelie (The Musical)"

  • Music by Daniel Messe
  • Lyrics by Daniel Messe and Nathan Tysen
  • Book by Craig Lucas
  • Based on the motion picture Amelie written by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant
  • Produced by the U of I Department of Theatre Arts and Lionel Hampton School of Music
  • Directed by Craig A. Miller
  • Music Director Christian Reed
  • Orchestra Conductor Vern Sielert

View program.

Please be advised this show contains some mature themes, such as adult language and sexual content.

Show Times & Dates

  • 7:30 p.m.,Oct. 26, 27, 28, Nov. 3, 4
  • 2 p.m.,Oct. 29 & Nov. 5


  • Hartung Theater, 625 Stadium Drive

Ticket Prices


Campus Locations

Physical Address:
Bruce M. Pitman Center
875 Perimeter Drive MS 4264
Moscow, ID 83844-4264

Phone: 208-885-6111

Fax: 208-885-9119