Dedicated children to perform in Missoula Theatre play
Sixty dedicated children from the north central Kansas area and even beyond have been busy every day this week learning the ins and outs of acting from instructors from the Missoula Children's Theatre, Missoula, Mont.
Results of their commitment and hard work can be seen Saturday, July 23, at 3:00 and 5:30 p.m. at Concordia's Brown Grand Theatre when they present Aladdin, a musical conceived and written by Michael McGill, who also wrote the music and lyrics for the production.
Preparation for the event began Monday morning with tryouts and cast selection. Parts were assigned to three different age groups: 5-7, 8-12 and 13-18. First rehearsal was Monday afternoon. Children were told at the beginning by directors Molly Malady and Gordon Brooks "If you can't commit, then don't do it."
Rehearsals continued throughout the week from 10 a.m.-noon and 1-2:30 p.m. each day. When groups were split up, Concordia's First Presbyterian Church served as an additional rehearsal area.
Sisters Olivia, Sarah and Sophia Rieke who are in their second year of being in a Missoula Children's Theatre production each have their own reasons for enjoying the experience
"I like it because it's like we're in a different world of acting," Olivia, 9, said.
Sarah Rieke, 10, said being in a play was fun to do and fun to act in and Sophia Rieke, also 10, said, "I like dressing up and pretending to be somebody else."
Aladdin is described as a swirling sandstorm of famous Arabian Tales from Ali Baba to Scheherazade, and even Sinbad the Sailor, as Aladdin seeks answers and advice from wise Genies, a powerful Sultan and his own Mother to find a way to meet the Princess. However, even with the lamp in hand, Aladdin will have to learn that it takes more than a wish to make a good impression.
The local cast features Belle Chavey as Aladdin and Lacey McGuire as his mother; Paige Zadina as Princess Dory and Elena Kile as her father the Sultan, along with his adviser the Grand Vizier played by Eden Hart. Lucia Shinn and Jaylee Williams are the keeper of the Book of Answers, Dinazade and her sister Scheherazade, Sienna Newsom are cast as The Mysterious One and Graceyn Weaver and Shreya Smith as the mischievous Genies. A stubborn donkey and spunky goat are played by Emma Hubert and Porter Bell. Scheming Cassim and Ali Baba are played by Sarah Rieke and Sophia Rieke.
Other cast members are Sinbad, Lacie Duvall and his sailors Linsey Kusler, Lorelie McGuire, Haddie Smith, Madison Strecker, Phoenix Vansant and Elizabeth Willoughby; wise-cracking Palm trees, Olivia Hart, Karlie Smith and Jerica Snyder; Kreden Weaver and Haven Hall, fleet-footed camels; The Cave of Wonders, Lucina Eubanks, Jude Hodgens, Alli Klima, Broc Klima and Brady Strait; Vagabonds, Braxton Collins, Olivia Rieke, Bella Ring, Peyton Zadina, Catelin Benyshek and Sage Weaver; and a pack of lost penguins, Trinity McWhorter, Grae Siemsen, Leathan Stevenson, Atticus Brown, Jaxson Collins, Genevieve Demanett, Priscilla Eubanks, Tre Hamiel, Gabi Lange, Colton McWhorter, Isaac Ring, Izaak Robbins and Preslee Wike.
Serving as assistant director will be Hunter Blackwood. Chris Chambers is technician.
Missoula Children's Theatre is a world renowned children's theatre company based in Missoula, Mont. It has been touring for more than 35 years. The company provides a team of two professional tour actor/directors, costumes, props, make-up and basic lighting—everything it takes to put on a play except the cast.
Cast requirements grew considerably from the play presented which only had 28 members. Brown Grand director Amber Rogers assisted in managing the children, making sure they were in the right place at the right time.
Sponsors who helped bring the Missoula Children's Theatre to the Brown Grand were The Community Foundation for Cloud County, Walmart Stores, Britt's Fountain and Gifts, Cloud County Tourism and F&A Food Sales. Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, call Rogers at 243.2553.
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