Local Talent Spotlight: Dalton Kohler

Published online: Nov 17, 2020 Articles, Education And Arts Erin Nazario
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This town has its share of talented individuals. With my involvement in so many theatrical shows in town, I get to see firsthand some of this talent grow from its beginnings into awe-inspiring potential for greatness. One such artist is Dalton Kohler.  

I first saw Dalton perform in the Idaho Falls Opera Theater’s performance of I, Pagliacci in the spring of 2014.  He was just a child then and stole my heart as part of the ensemble. Over the following 6 years, the boy grew into a young man stealing hearts of everyone in every production he did. He dazzled audiences as the loveable Peter Pan flying through the air at the Civic Auditorium. Two years later, he blew audiences away with his incredible performance as Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid singing “Her Voice”.   

Dalton has graced the stage many times with the Idaho Falls Youth Arts Centre, the Idaho Falls Opera Theater, Hillcrest High School, Sounds Summer Musical, and soon the Hale Centre Theater in their production of Disney’s Tarzan as one of the ape tribe.

Dalton was born and raised in Ammon. He started gymnastics and jump-roping at the age of 7. His first time on stage, however, was in the Idaho Falls Youth Arts Centre‘s Summer Theater Camp production of Schoolhouse Rock. He had “the bug” and continued to be in show after show after show. Dalton is a man of many talents, and one of the sweetest human beings one will ever meet, but it hasn’t always been easy.

Dalton has been learning to live with a difficult medical condition – one that is often overlooked and often used as a cliché. He suffers from insomnia and sleep apnea, and it is a much bigger issue than the inability to sleep. It is the reason he was honorably sent home early from his LDS Mission, and it has led to the development of other health issues including depression. 

On his mission, he tried to manage his insomnia on his own, but his companion kindly intervened and helped him speak to his Mission President (the leader of the group of missionaries). Together, they tried to get him the help he needed, but were unsuccessful. Upon returning home, Dalton received counseling and medical treatment. There was little relief, and the emotional weight was getting heavier.

He felt alone. He thought he had let so many people down. That feeling of despair and loss became difficult to bear. To treat the insomnia, he tried special diets, exercise routines, and therapy. Nothing worked. However, meditation, prayer and the power of music changed everything. 

“Music saved me,” he says. He started listening to a particular band that spoke deeply to him and started working on his own music again. He joined his IFYAC family for their production of Matilda the Musical. He found his way back through the arts. “Being in the production of Matilda brought me back.”

It is stories like this one that remind me just how important creativity and expression are to us as a society, And how important they can be to individuals. Art, in any form, can literally be lifesaving. As Dalton moves on from our community to bless others with his talents, he plans to continue his studies at BYU-I and obtain a degree in Music. His hope is to help others who struggle finding their full potential through music and performance. 

“Theater and music have given me so much – life-long friends that turn into family, fun memories from my youth and childhood, and I have a better ability to process my struggles and emotions,” he said. “I want to be a part of that for others.”

Dalton Kohler is an exceptional young man and performer. Anyone who knows him can attest to his delightful demeanor and personable character. He is already so incredibly talented, and I have no doubt he will amaze us even more as we watch his career unfold.  

Here are a few fun facts about Dalton Kohler:

Q: What is your favorite musical?

A:  Love Never Dies

Q: What role would you love to play?

A: Jean Val Jean from Les Miserable or Jack Kelly or Racetrack  from Newsies (Jack gets the solo, “Santa Fe,” but Racetrack gets to dance a lot more).

Q: Favorite memory from a show?

A: Flying through the window in Peter Pan. It was magical.

Q: Hardest part of theater?

A: Putting your neck out there and committing to the character with your own ideas.

Q: Hardest role you have played, and why?

A: Frank Butler in Annie Get Your Gun because he was the bully.  He wasn’t the naturally liked character.

Q: Hardest song you’ve sung and why?

A: “I’m Flying.” Harness—‘nuff said.

Q: Favorite song you’ve sung?

A:  “Her Voice” from The Little Mermaid the Musical.

Q: Favorite role you have had and why?

A: It’s a toss-up between Peter Pan because I got to fly; or Prince Eric because, well, he [is] a Disney Prince.

Q: Jump rope or theater?

A: Don’t ask me that question! I can’t answer that one!  

Q: Biggest take away from theater?

A:  First and foremost the life-long friendships. The second thing is the ability to collaborate and create something spectacular out of nothing allowing you to process some big emotions and have a healthy outlet for that passion.

If you fancy a little trip to see a local homegrown talent perform, you can see Dalton at the Hale Centre Theater in Sandy, Utah from November 6 - January 16 in Disney’s Tarzan. You are sure to be amazed by this young man’s energy, ability and skill.

Dalton has been an absolute pleasure working with in so many productions. I look forward to working with him again and seeing all that he is meant to do for the world of theater and all that he will do for others.

Click here to read more of the September issue of Idaho Falls Magazine.


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