Amber Burgess

Amber Burgess

Amber Burgess • Vibrant People of Elkhart County

Our Vibrant Person for today is Amber Burgess!


Goshen’s River Bend Film Festival is over. The event was well attended and highly praised. You would think, the manager of the Goshen Theater, Amber Burgess could kick back and take a breath, but not so fast.

The heavy lifting for the extensive renovation of the theater begins today. Amber is too excited to relax. She says, it’s going to be “just a little bit crazy” and she is ready for it.

From the day Amber entered Goshen Theater, she found a special spot for it in her heart. She had seen storefront theatres all over the country. They were usually nothing special inside. Amber says about the Goshen Theater, “The first time I walked through the lobby, I was not prepared for what I would find.” She was awestruck by the auditorium and she could imagine audiences filling the place on a routine basis.

Amber believes live theatre can and should play an important role in America today, especially with so many digital options. “Theater is one of the few remaining places where people can come together,” she says. It is where you can share an experience that has never happened before and will not again.

It is not surprising that Amber has chosen theatre as her life’s path. She has been following it since she a child. After earning a role in the classic play “Carrousel”, Amber traveled north, south, east and west from her home town in North Dakota in search of chances to perform. She found them and, over time, her interest in the arts grew stronger and her geographic reach extended further.

Amber’s arrival in Elkhart County was serendipitous. A weekend gig subbing for a role at Round Barn Theatre became the first step in finding a home. That she still here is no fluke, Amber likes it. She is making an impact, making friends and finding opportunities to use her talents.

Before we wrap up our shout out to today’s Vibrant Person, we have to tell you about how she beat her mother, won the pageant and gets to wear the tiara.

Amber and her mother have long enjoyed experiencing things that, umm, as Amber says, “are not ordinary goals.” It has brought whimsy into their lives and kept them close.

However, after having to deal with an illness, Amber’s mother was not up to do anything.

The thought of having to discontinue something so important to her, was not acceptable to Amber. She pushed her mother to let them do something from her Bucket List. That didn’t work. Then, Amber asked, “What’s the dumbest thing we could do?” He mother paused a moment and responded: “Let’s do a pageant!” And that’s what they did.

Keep in mind not all pageants are for reed thin beauties and many pageants have more to do with intelligence, how you present yourself and your ability to connect with people than physical appearance.

Amber and mom entered and each won their respective category. They then had to compete against each other for the overall winner. Amber got to wear the crown this time around. She will turn it over later this year. Plans are already underway for the two to enter another.

We celebrate this adventure and not because Amber won. We think that doing something like this creates an inordinately strong bond between two people and makes life more vibrant and joyful.