Robert E. Moe originated the Carrousel Players of the Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre as a repertory company in northern Idaho with a twist. They would rehearse the first two shows for two weeks, open them, and run them alternating nightly while rehearsing the third for 10 days, open it, alternate the three while rehearsing the fourth for 7 days, then open it and run the four alternating nightly.
While it created a challenge for the company members, who were required to memorize and run four shows at once, it was a convenient selling point for the tourist trade of northern Idaho..."see four shows in four days" was a major attraction for theatre-goers from out of town.
Each season would bring 2 classic musicals, one contemporary musical, and one cutting edge musical. Everything from Sound of Music, Oliver, Music Man, Fiddler, South Pacific, and The King and I to 110 in the Shade, Your Own Thing, Sugar, Once Upon a Mattress, Applause, Anything Goes, Kismet, and Pippin were performed in little Coeur d'Alene. The company consisted of theatre students and professionals from around the country. Mr. Moe would tour the country's major cities, holding auditions for 32 company positions. The ones who were accepted paid their own ways to Idaho, received stipends of $25 per week and up (depending on additional duties), and were expected to pull double duty in technical roles as well as performing. Most could expect at least one major role, but none were guaranteed. Mr. Moe owned two apartments which were used to house the company in dormitory fashion.
Todays' Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre has evolved to include such names as Ellen Travolta and Jack Bannon, but it no longer runs in the same repertory manner, and performers aren't assigned technical duties.