Missoula Children’s Theatre

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Children practicing in hallway outside auditorium.

   For over four decades, Missoula Children’s Theatre has provided an opportunity for kids to experience what it would be like to perform a play on stage. On Saturday January 20, Missoula’s Children Theatre performed King Arthur’s Quest, written by Michael McGill, at the high school’s auditorium for it’s 20th anniversary in Pahrump. Many family members and fans gathered to watch the outcome of all the hard work the children have exerted.

  Starting as a small company in Missoula, Montana, it has expanded into a major production that travels to all 50 states and 16 different countries. With a set list of over 30 productions, a constant rotation of plays keeps towns interested.

   Any student in the community was able to try out for a part in the production; while the ages are typically elementary and middle school students, a few high school students do participate. Auditions ran after school on Monday, January 15, the first day of rehearsal week.

The stage and it’s props.

   There are four major skills that are recommended if one wants to try out for the play. Commitment is the first and most essential skill; the kids only have 4 to 5 days to rehearse and memorize their lines and production. The rehearsals are from 3pm to 8pm, with an hour long break. Children must be dedicated to the art.

  Loud voices and expressive bodies are also needed to present a well-done play to the community. Theatre is the expression of the body, audiences follow along with the story by seeing the script acted out. If one is being shy on stage, the play can be considered boring.

Crew helping prepare the set

   The final skill the children need is the ability to follow directions. It can be a stressful process for the directors to keep everything in check, and with kids who listen and follow instructions, the process is a lot easier.

  Any other skills the children may possess is an added bonus to the directors. Unfortunately, there is not always a perfect part for someone; directors encourage everyone to try out again next year. The next show may have the perfect role.

Crew helping prepare the set

 This year a new member, Jonathan Hambly, has joined the team. Aside from being a director and teacher in the show, he played three characters on stage – a giant, a dragon, and Keeper of the Keep.

  Previously, Hambly was a summer camp counselor and acquired a love for working with children. Missoula Children’s Theatre has provided the perfect “dream job” for him. “I love being able to travel the country and share what I love,” Hambly said. He can’t pass up an opportunity to share the kid’s talents, which they may not be able to showcase otherwise.

  For any inquiries about next year’s show, contact the Pahrump Arts Council on their website at pvpac.org. The student body applauds the little actors, and we hope to see more auditions next year!

 

  

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