The Missoula Children's Theatre (MCT) has made its presence known in various counties across Montana for decades, AND it doesn't stop there. As illustrated by the dynamic theatre company, MCT has expanded over the years to all 50 states in the United States, parts of Canada, and sixteen other countries! The concept behind this innovative group is simple: to offer creative theatrical resources and outlets for children in smaller communities. In turn, children begin to exude the confidence and positive reinforcement needed to grow. From every walk of life, children have the same interest and passion for expressing themselves. The Missoula Children's Theatre aims to encourage that spark in kiddos in a very fun-filled, action-packed way. (continued...)

In a nutshell, here's how it works. Members of the Missoula Children's Theatre touring team travel from town to town with everything needed for a stage performance; costumes, a set design, props, lights, make-up, and anything required to pull off a play. Well, minus the "cast members," of course. That's where the incredible children of select communities come in! The touring team will hold auditions to cast up to 60 students for the production. Following a one-week rehearsal, these young thespians will hit the stage to perform two shows for family and friends. This year alone, nearly 44 teams of directors and actors traveled to over 1,100 communities in the nation and around the world. (photos & more about MCT below)

So far this year, MCT has performed in several regions across Montana, including Dillon this past January and Helena and Anaconda earlier this month. Performances and auditions will also occur in Clancy beginning February 13th, Lima on February 20th, Deer Lodge and Townsend the week of February 27th, Belgrade, Ennis, and Montana City starting March 3rd, and Boulder the week of March 27th. I was happy to learn of the awesome experience some friends of mine had during MCT's visit to Anaconda. Needless to say, I was in awe of the darling pictures the Dee and Vauthier family showed me (above) of their beautiful daughter/granddaughter, Kirra. She played the role of a dutiful apple seed in MCT's production of Johnny Appleseed on February 4th. Way to go, Kirra, and hats off to all fellow performers! One day, we may see you on the silver screen! See more great photos of the awesome kids who performed in Anaconda below, courtesy of Kirra's mom, Kylie! Thank you to Grandma Rhonda, as well! Other MCT shows presented in Montana last month and expected to continue through the Spring include King Author's Quest, Red Riding Hood, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Emperor's New Clothes! Here's to our youth, the parents that back them and great programs like MCT!

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