Hear ye, hear ye


Send out the word, tell every kid you know: Missoula Children’s Theatre is coming to town next week.

The excitement begins in Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 29, with auditions open to all students entering first through twelfth grade who want to participate in a joyful, experience that they will remember throughout their lifetimes. Up to 60 roles in Peter and Wendy,

MCT’s version of the Peter Pan story, will be cast at this two-hour session. Now, since the MCT residency usually attracts more than sixty aspiring performers, not everyone who tries out will be among those chosen; however, even in this sad circumstance, a valuable life lesson is learned which can inspire growth that occurs when one deals with adversity, an outcome reinforcing the stated MCT mission to develop lifeskills in children through participation in the performing arts.

Immediately following the cast announcement, rehearsals begin for Peter and Wendy and continue throughout the ensuing week. Participants will work hard memorizing lines, learning new songs, perfecting dance moves, each responsibly making his/her own contribution to reach a common goal — a fully-realized musical in which each participant has an opportunity to shine before an audience of relatives, friends, and neighbors who will undoubtedly be mightily entertained by the clever script and catchy tunes that the MCT team delivers.

Peter Pan, Wendy, Tinker Bell, and other fondly recalled characters created by J. M. Barrie over a century ago will come to life on stage at Memorial Hall, culminating in two performances on Saturday, Aug. 3 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The play tells of the fantastic adventures awaiting Captain Hook and his pirate posse as they search for the elusive Peter Pan; adding to the mayhem are a classy crocodile, some very lost boys and a fickle shadow. Mr. and Mrs. Darling endure their own adventures as they trek around the globe on a quest to find their missing children. In the end, of course, The Darling children are found, disputes are resolved, and, most importantly, everyone finds a place where they truly belong. That ultimate resolution not only sums up the underlying theme of the show but also expresses the experience encountered by almost everyone involved in theatre; you feel a deep sense of belonging, you understand that your contribution is essential to the whole, you know that you are a part of a community dedicated to creating something special to be shared with the greater community who, as members of the audience, will also become involved in the life-enhancing experience.

In addition to creating theatre magic, an MCT residency teaches lessons from art that carry over into real life. Within the cast, all are equal, each individual an essential part of the whole and absolutely necessary for the show to go on. Participants have a great deal of fun but are also gaining skills that are vital to meeting the challenges encountered throughout life; self-discipline, social and communication skills, a strong work ethic, an understanding of the team concept and other responsible behaviors are all developed while participants are enjoying the time of their lives.

Darke County Center for the Arts is rightfully proud of the success encountered through its association with MCT, a highly regarded company whose goals closely correlate to DCCA’s mission of encouraging cultural enrichment through their presentations. By providing a memorable week where youngsters learn life skills and have a really good time, DCCA contributes to the quality of life enjoyed in our community, truly enhancing lives through the arts.

So if you have a kid, know a kid, or are a kid, tell everyone you know about Missoula Children’s Theatre. Thanks to funds granted by Darke County Endowment for the Arts, DCCA provides the experience at no cost to participants; all that is required for participation is the signature of a parent or guardian. Tickets for performances of Peter and Wendy cost $5, and will be available at the door. For more information, contact DCCA at 937-547-0908 or visit its Website at www.darkecountyarts.org.


By Marilyn Delk

Contributing Columnist

Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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