Trillium’s Spotlight On: Michael Buttrill and the Flood

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Michael Buttrill

Trillium’s Michael Buttrill loves to write and perform and is a core artist with Trillium Performing Arts. Here are some of his thoughts on creating and Trillium.

Q: What types of things do you like to write about? What inspires you?

A:  I feel a responsibility to create work that relates to the issues affecting the communities that I live in. I am inspired to enter into the conversations that are happening around the environment, personal relationships, and politics.

Q: How long have you been performing? How long have you been with Trillium?

A: I started performing with Trillium 15 years ago. I started performing regularly in high school when I attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, FL, and then went on to NYU for college. I stepped out of the spotlight for many years to pursue my goal of being an organic vegetable farmer.

Q: You are an actor and not a dancer. So Trillium has all different kinds of performers, is that correct?

A: I also dance, but my true love in performing is drama. I would label the work that we do at Trillium as Performance Art because it is interdisciplinary. The artists at Trillium use many mediums to communicate ideas.

Q: You are a farmer, so does some of your inspiration come from the environment?

A: Most definitely. My directorial debut at Trillium was a piece titled “Greener Postures” that addressed many aspects of life as a farmer. I am deeply concerned for the environment and especially now in this era when so many politicians have corporate agendas.

Q: At times, Trillium has been a family affair, isn’t that true?

A: Trillium is a family of artists and we welcome all people who want to contribute to the community through the arts. My daughter has performed many times with Trillium as well.

Q: Your piece in the March concert is very emotional and personal. Would you tell us a little about that?

A: The flood in June was catastrophic for many people including myself. My performance is a way of healing myself and hopefully some others by expressing the emotions that have arisen in response to this catastrophe. I am so thankful to be able to have this creative outlet that keeps me healthy even though it is painful sometimes to open up about hurtful experiences.

Trillium is donating $2 from all ticket sales to the Greater Greenbrier Long Term Recovery Committee.

Trillium’s “Breaking Boundaries” will be performed on Mar. 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Mar. 12 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and AmeriCorps volunteers, Trillium students and 6 and under are free. The concert is at the Lewis Theatre on Court Street North in Lewisburg. For more information, call 304-645-3003.