Mickie Miller-Knight was a force of nature. She could walk into a room and it felt as if the wind and sun were in her wake, ready to do her bidding. There was very little that she did not accomplish as she built her decades-long career as a teacher and theatre director.
She started her teaching career in Texas and then, with her young husband Howard Miller, she moved her home and a herd of cattle through Texas into Colorado and settled in the Arkansas Valley. She taught speech and drama at La Junta High School and then in 1968 realized her dream of creating a community theatre in her new home town. She and a Board of Directors – comprised of set designers, costume designers, business owners, and theatre supporters – created the Picketwire Players.
During her tenure as Picketwire’s Director, she produced 40 plays, converted an old school building into a theatre, trained hundreds of actors, and entertained thousands of audience members who came far and wide to see her shows. Her commands of “pick up the pace”, “you have to project to the back row”, and “baby, this isn’t good enough” still echo the theatre.
Picketwire misses this dynamo of a woman. Her spirit still graces our halls, and her quest for excellence is what Picketwire Players still strive to achieve.