Two decades. More than 20 performances. Hundreds of students. A lifetime of memories.
This year, the Monroe Area Council for the Arts (MACA) is celebrating 20 years of bringing Missoula Children’s Theatre to Monroe County.
“What our young people accomplish in just one week is amazing,” said Rebecca Inman, administrator for MACA. “The shows always delight an audience of all ages.”
From the initial performance of “The Wiz of the West” in 1999, Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT) has offered local students an opportunity to perform on stage, while also providing instrumental lessons in the performing arts. Each year, more than 50 local children, who audition for the performance at the beginning of the week, appear in the show.
The Missoula Children’s Theatre touring productions are complete with costumes, scenery, props and makeup. Following auditions, MCT tour actor/directors conduct rehearsals each day throughout the week.
This year, MCT returns to Monroe County to present the classic “Robin Hood.”
Embark on an adventure with the legendary Robin Hood, Maid Marian, the Sheriff of Nottingham and a host of others in a musical wonderland. The time is simply long ago and the place is the magical, mythical Sherwood Forest. The hero, Robin Hood, and his Merry Band of colorful characters seek the help of the Foresters, manage to waylay the Aristocrats and set out to rescue Maid Marian and Marian’s Maid. Prince John tries to stay calm as his sheriff, guards and horsemen botch Robin’s arrest, thanks to the aromatic skunks. Wacky humor and an original score add to this fresh new look at a legendary outlaw in a legendary time.
Auditions to be held Feb. 4
Missoula week begins with auditions on Monday, Feb. 4 at 4 p.m. in the Hiwassee College Performing Arts Center. Those auditioning should arrive by 3:45 p.m. to register. Some of the cast members will be asked to stay for a rehearsal immediately following the audition.
This is a group audition and no advance preparation is necessary. Organizers note that not everyone who auditions is guaranteed a part in the show.
Among the roles to be cast are Robin Hood, Maid Marion, Marion’s Maid, Prince John, the Sheriff of Nottingham, the Foresters, the Aristocrats, the Merry Band, the Guards, the Horsemen, and the Skunks. Assistant directors will also be cast to assist with the technical aspects of the production.
All students in kindergarten through 12th grades are encouraged to audition. If selected for the production, rehearsals will be held from Tuesday, Feb. 5 to Thursday, Feb. 7 from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. An ice cream party, sponsored by Mayfield Dairy, will be held for the cast on the last day of rehearsals.
A 20-year celebration
Following a fun-filled week of rehearsals, public performances of “Robin Hood” will be held on Friday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. at the Hiwassee College Performing Arts Center. Individual tickets to the show are $10 for adults or $5 for students. Children ages 5 and under will be admitted for free. Reserve advanced tickets online at monroearts.com, by contacting MACA by phone at 423-442-3230 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets will also be sold at the door on the night of the performances.
A performance will be held for schools on Friday, Feb. 8 at 12:30 p.m. To sign your class up to attend, contact MACA.
In addition, all former cast members of Monroe County’s Missoula Children’s Theatre productions are invited to attend a 20-year celebration on Feb. 8. Prior to the Friday night performance, MACA will hold a pre-show celebration to recognize all those who have been a part of MCT over the past two decades. The display cases in the lobby of the Hiwassee College Performing Arts Center have been decorated with photographs and programs from past Missoula shows in honor of the 20th year.
“We are the thankful to share this opportunity in our community, sponsored in part by grants from United Way of Monroe County and the Tennessee Arts Commission as well as contributions from MACA supporters,” said Inman. “Everyone—young and old—should come to enjoy the purity of children’s theatre.”