Missoula Children’s Theatre hit the stage at Carlyle Elementary School on Friday Nov. 2. This year’s production was titled “Jack and the Beanstalk”.
The theatre company, based out of Missoula Montana, travels throughout North America and the world. It travels to different locations, producing plays for the benefit of youth.
The production crew of two, arrives with a fully loaded Chevy Colorado truck packed full. It has all the costumes, scripts and props. The only element missing is the cast to stage the show.
Approximately 50 students audition and a cast is selected and prepared for an appropriate role.
Payton Hartwick of Oklahoma and Taylor Priday of Georgia are the production crew. They have been with the Missoula Children’s Theatre since May.
They are both university graduates with Payton having a Bachelor of Science from North Western University of Louisiana and Taylor has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Acting from Brenau University in Georgia. They both auditioned for “tour actor directors” with the theatre company upon graduation this spring and are now based out of Missoula.
They are on the road continuously and have nicknamed their truck “Connie Bean”. This trip includes stops in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Montana. They traveled here from Wolf Point, Montana and their next stop will be Scobey, Montana.
They explain the theatre company’s purpose is to grow confidence in youth and create a community bond. It benefits the youth; teaching responsibility and creating opportunity for the future.
During the week they put on four workshops for all students. This, as well as readying the cast, teach them their lines, the songs and dance moves for the musical.
Melanie Pauls is the community education liason for the school. She notes, “In this five-day residency the students come together to perform a 60-minute musical production for the community. This is a program that brings together students from a wide range of demographics. It is a great opportunity to participate and learn about the performing arts.”
The event is generously sponsored by Carlyle Pharmasave. The Ramada Hotel is supplying the accommodation for the Missoula team.
Pauls also comments, “It has been a very intense week of rehearsal schedules and I am very proud of our students for their dedication and commitment to this production”.
The show was held Friday, Nov. 1 at the elementary school gym.
(See more photos in the Nov. 8 issue of The Observer - "Observed At")