Musical on a deadline: Auditions for Missoula Children’s Theatre production set for Tuesday

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The Missoula Children’s Theatre will bring a production of “The Tortoise Versus the Hare” to Craig on Jan. 21. Auditions for the production are scheduled for 4 p.m. Jan. 17 in the Moffat County High School auditorium and are open to local children in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Quotable:

“They realize that if they put hard work into the process that applause happens at the end of the week.”

— Jonna Michelson, tour marketing director for the Missoula Children’s Theatre, on children who perform in the company’s productions

If you go …

What: Auditions for the Missoula Children’s Theatre production of “The Tortoise Versus the Hare”

When: 4 p.m. Jan. 17

Where: Moffat County High School auditorium, 900 Finley Lane.

— Auditions are open to children in kindergarten through sixth grade.

— No preparation for the audition is necessary.

— All children who audition must have a clear schedule for the entire week and must be able to attend all rehearsals required for their roles.

— For more information, call Jennifer Riley at 826-3109 or Michele Chalmers at 824-5522.

The word “audition” may evoke anxious thoughts for a child whose experience with the stage is minimal.

But for children who want to perform in the Missoula Children’s Theatre production of “The Tortoise Versus the Hare,” an audition is much less stressful than one might think, said Jonna Michelson, tour marketing director for the group based in Missoula, Mont.

“It’s a group process,” she said. “… It’s a gentle process in that regard. Children don’t have to have experience to be comfortable participating.”

Children in kindergarten through sixth grade will have a chance to land roles in the production. Auditions are scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Moffat County High School auditorium, 900 Finley Lane.

The touring group is looking for more than 50 local children to participate. There’s no guarantee that everyone who auditions will be cast in the production, which is scheduled to take the stage Jan. 21.

The production is coming to Craig with help from a donation to The Memorial Hospital Foundation, which was earmarked for supporting children’s health, said Jennifer Riley, TMH chief of organizational excellence.

She believes the musical ultimately fits with the donation’s intent.

“It’s a healthy activity,” Riley said. “It gets (children) involved in something outside the home and outside the school.”

Students aren’t required to prepare for the auditions, Michelson said, but they must have a clear schedule for the week and be able to attend all rehearsals required for their roles, if they are cast.

A time commitment is crucial because time is in short supply. Actors and directors have less than a week between auditions and opening night.

“Our process is quite intense for the weeklong experience,” Michelson said, especially considering that most musicals take weeks or months to prepare.

Rehearsals will take place every day from 4 to 6 p.m. and from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. from Jan. 18 through 20 at the MCHS auditorium.

Michelson believes the reward actors get in the end helps make all the work worthwhile.

“They realize that if they put hard work into the process that applause happens at the end of the week,” she said.

For more information, call Jennifer Riley at 826-3109 or Michele Chalmers at 824-5522.

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