When Darke County Center for the Arts first brought a Missoula Children’s Theatre residency to Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall in 2002, DCCA’s staff was anxious, worrying about multiple “what ifs” that could occur; among the primary concerns was whether enough students to actually mount a production would show up for auditions. MCT arrives at a community in a little red truck stuffed with scripts, set, costumes, props, make-up – everything needed to put on a play except the cast; the MCT team of Actor/Directors then holds an open audition to fill the 50 to 60 roles available in the production. But would our community respond to this new venture in sufficient numbers so that a production could actually take place?
Well, the answer was an overwhelming “yes – and how!” And that’s the way that it’s gone annually ever since. Around 100 students jam the Memorial Hall stage, vying for the opportunity to be a part of the show. (The only down-side of this enthusiastic response is that not all of the youngsters can be chosen, leading to disappointment and sometimes tears from those who did not fit in an available role. Even the MCT tour team regrets not being able to use everybody who shows up, often sadly noting that they just didn’t have enough parts or appropriate costumes to go around.) The 17th incarnation of this exciting process is coming soon; if you have a kid, know a kid, or are a kid entering first through 12th grade, mark Monday, July 30 on your calendar, because that’s the day auditions will be held for MCT’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
The well-known benefits of participation in theatre include increased self-confidence and higher academic achievement, but that’s only the beginning of the assets that accrue during the week that the MCT team spends in our community. Multiple lessons that carry on throughout life include learning that, regardless of the size of the role, each participant is necessary for the show to go on. There are no winners and losers; teamwork and individual responsibility go hand in hand, both essential to a successful result in theatre and in life. Interpersonal skills are promoted, imaginations are stimulated, and creative thought is encouraged, enabling new ideas to blossom and grow. And all this occurs while everyone is having a whole lot of fun!
No preparation is required prior to auditions, but those trying out, who will be expected to attend the entire audition, which begins at 10 a.m. and concludes at noon, should closely listen to and follow instructions from the MCT tour team. Rehearsals begin immediately following the cast announcement, and will continue throughout the week, culminating in two performances of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Although not all cast members are needed at every rehearsal, those auditioning should have a clear schedule for the entire week. There is no charge to participate in this production. For more information, contact DCCA at 937-547-0908 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit DCCA’s website, www.darkecountyarts.com.
Do your part to enable the youngsters in your lives to play a role in this wonderful adventure; and don’t miss the show. Two performances of MCT’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” will be presented at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall on Saturday, Aug. 4 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are just $5 and will be available at the door. The magic of theatre brings joy to lives; there’s no doubt about it, nothing to worry about. Share in the joy!
Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at email@example.com. 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.