By Lindsay Pape, Contributor
I am writing to honor the life of Wesley Pourier, a brilliant jewel in the Omaha Theatre Community. He left us too early, but his joyful contributions will not be forgotten.
He grew up in Porcupine, South Dakota, a proud member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and attended Red Cloud High School. Wesley came to Omaha in 2005, with a full academic scholarship to attend Creighton University and was planning to major in journalism. But, after being cast in Dead Man Walking the first semester of his freshman year, the theatre program had Wesley in its grip. He became an integral part of Creighton theatre as an actor in such productions as West Side Story, Loves Labors Lost, Polaroid Stories, The Laramie Project and The Phantom, a dancer for 3 years in The Nutcracker and Giselle and a Director for 5 years of one act plays, including Polaroid Stories and Gladys. Wesley designed costumes for The House of Blue Leaves and many one acts and dance pieces. He worked tirelessly backstage, serving as Wardrobe Head for many productions and practically lived in the costume shop.
Wesley graduated with a BA in Theatre in 2010, and while he excelled in his classes, like many theatre artists, he grew most through his practical theatre experience. He stayed involved in community theaters, appeared onstage in Hello Dolly at the Chanticleer Theatre in Council Bluffs, Iowa, designed costumes for The Bellevue Little Theatre, Philadelphia Story, SNAP! Productions, Voices from the Closet and Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike, and the Blue Barn Theatre, Heathers: The Musical, Standing on Ceremony, Bad Jews, and revamping costumes for 3 of the Blue Barn’s Christmas Plays. If Wesley knew a friend was involved in a show, he made certain to see the production.
For the last twelve years, Wesley had also been Lindsay Pape’s Assistant Costume Designer at Creighton University and worked both officially and unofficially, with the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival. Under the title of Assistant Designer and Shop Supervisor, he patterned and cut costumes, helped with every fitting, lead wardrobe crews and work/study students, and was a shopper, sounding board and costume shop interior decorator. Wesley made sure each of Lindsay’s costumes was perfectly finished and styled; if Lindsay made the note-Natalie’s hat needs a little something- Wesley knew what that meant and made sure everything was appropriately feathered, rhinestoned and ribboned. He used his acting and people skills while working at a number of eating establishments, The Twisted Fork, Goodnights, e Creamery, and most recently at the Black Oak Grill.
Wesley Pourier will be greatly missed in Omaha and Porcupine, but his glittering gifts to theatre and friends will remain.