The cast of "The Pied Piper" performs as part of the Missoula Children's Theatre in January 2013. The organization will return to Craig this month, holding auditions for the show "Blackbeard the Pirate" Monday afternoon at Moffat County High School.

File photo

The cast of "The Pied Piper" performs as part of the Missoula Children's Theatre in January 2013. The organization will return to Craig this month, holding auditions for the show "Blackbeard the Pirate" Monday afternoon at Moffat County High School.

Missoula Children’s Theatre to host Monday auditions for Craig kids

If you go…

Missoula Children’s Theatre auditions

4 p.m., Monday

Moffat County High School auditorium

— The traveling drama program will hold auditions for Craig children ages kindergarten through sixth grade for the production of “Blackbeard the Pirate.” Those cast will rehearse each day throughout the week, followed by two performances at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets to the shows will be $5 per person. For more information, call 970-826-3109.

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Courtesy Image/Missoula Children's Theatre

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Courtesy Image/Missoula Children's Theatre

Avast, landlubbers! If your wee ones have always wanted the chance to act like buccaneers, now be the chance for them to show thar stuff!

The Missoula Children’s Theatre will return to Craig with another week-long, intensive program for young thespians. This year’s feature will be “Blackbeard the Pirate,” and auditions are Monday afternoon at the Moffat County High School auditorium.

The show is open to local performers from kindergarten through sixth grade, with about 50 to 60 kids expected to be cast. MCT is in its third consecutive year in Craig, after performances of “The Tortoise Versus the Hare” and “The Pied Piper.”

The program is based out of Missoula, Mont., and its staff travel to hundreds of communities throughout the year in all 50 states and numerous countries. Their process is to work with young children on a fun show within their skill set, take them through the rehearsal process and be ready for showtime all in the course of one week.

“Our mission is the development of life skills in children through participation in the performing arts,” MCT Tour Marketing Associate Chelle Robinson said.

Local organizer Michele Chalmers said the children who participate learn a lot in a short period of time. Besides the basics of how a play is put together, they develop their abilities of expression and work as a team.

The idea of playing dress-up is a draw for most, Chalmers said.

“A lot of the kids like the makeup and getting in costume,” she said.

The music involved in MCT’s shows also is geared toward young actors, with repetition that kids can learn quickly.

Older kids typically take on the more difficult roles that require a lot of memorization of lines, and some also have the opportunity to work as an assistant director.

Chalmers said her own kids have “thoroughly enjoyed” working with MCT in the past.

Missoula actors Adam Ward and Joe Godburn will head the production.

The audition process is meant to be very inviting for children who have never done drama, Godburn said, but they also expect kids to take it seriously and commit to a week’s worth of work.

“The three things we look for are a loud, clear voice, expressive body and listening and following directions,” he said.

The program is sponsored by The Memorial Hospital in Craig, TMH Foundation and the Moffat County School District.

“We have had a lot of success with this production,” TMH representative Jennifer Riley said. “It exposes over 50 kids to acting, singing, dancing, and the stage. It really is phenomenal to watch the finished product and see what they have accomplished in just one week. TMH and the Foundation are pleased to sponsor an even that helps to enrich our youth beyond basic health needs.”

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

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