Missoula Children’s Theater returns for a third time to New England
The Missoula Children’s Theatre along with 38 New England School Students performed the production of Rapunzel on Saturday April 9, at the Memorial Hall. Husband and wife Peter and Sarah Kane were the Tour Directors that came to New England with MCT to help the children make the two performances a huge success.
By RACHEL BOCK
The kids started their week off on Monday of last week with auditions for the various roles in Rapunzel. Once all the children received their parts, the young actors got to work and had less than five days to practice, and memorize their lines to be ready for the two performances on Saturday. The children spent countless hours last week with practices Monday through Friday that went from after school to 7:45 every night, with dress rehearsals and performances on Saturday. The children are also required to have their lines memorized by Thursday’s practice which depending on the role leaves some of the actors practicing even longer at home during the week.
“At the hourly practices, the first few days we are just drilling their songs, and where they move on stage. As far as memorizing the lines, that is telling them you have committed to this, this is what you have to do and here is when you have to have it by,” Peter Kane said.
The Tour Directors Peter and Sarah Kane have been with Missoula Children’s Theatre for roughly a year and a half. The Missoula Children’s Theatre has 40 different teams like the Kane’s traveling around all 50 states and 16 different countries. This year since January the Kane’s have been throughout the Midwest, and in Canada with the Rapunzel play. At any time of the year MCT has about 10 to 15 different shows on the road, with a few groups having the same show. After Saturday the Kane’s were leaving New England and headed to Hunter, North Dakota as their next stop with the Rapunzel production.
For Peter and Sarah and anyone who watched the performances, people are simply amazed on how well the children perform with the short time they are given to learn the material. The hard work paid off for the young performers as both shows went extremely well.
The Kane’s feel that the success of the performances is really because of the great kids and the amount of work that the children have put into it.
“I think the kids have to want to do it for themselves. I think they are excited about the material, their excited about the parts they earned for themselves. They have the motivation on their own, and they want to succeed on show day,” Sarah Kane said.
This is the third year that the New England Booster Club has hosted the Missoula Children’s Theatre. The Booster Club takes care of the expense of bringing the MCT to New England, and because of that there isn’t a cost to the children for being part of the Theatre, thanks to the Booster Club. What started as a way to fill the void of not having our own school drama department, every year has seen increased participation in the Theatre program.
What the Kane’s love and admire the most is seeing the growth that the children make while they are working with them during the week.
“I love seeing the kids realize something they didn’t know they were capable of. It amazes me and fills my heart when someone comes up to us at the end of a week and goes I did it. That is just the best feeling in the world, “Peter Kane said.
“I like to see the growth every week of the kids. We meet them Monday and we know nothing about them. We see their strengths, we see them blossom in five days which is amazing,” Sarah Kane said.
The New England cast of Rapunzel:
Rapunzel: Sebella Sorenson, Prince: Matthew Bock, Madame Gothel: Kayla Ehlis, Maurice: William Schmidt, Monique: Jasmine Augare, Wood Elves: Emma Olsonawski, and Ava Augare, Ears of Corn: Leah Ehlis, and Faythe Seymour, Potato: Brady Rustan, Unicorns: Kailee Gussey, and Kallie Dinius, Pixie: Anna Eisenbarth, Gremlin: McKoy Stecher, Billy Goats Gruff: Avery Frank, Alixander Covert, and Josh Calvert, Toll: Brenna Wert, Three Bears: Chevy Dhamers, Carly Wolf, and Mark Schmidt, Bucky the Beaver: Justin Kathrein, Ogres: Evelynn Hewson, and Grace Bieber, Fun Gus: Ali Herberholz, Mushrooms: Bryson Frank, Koedyn Awender, Ryan Rustan, Sierra Fitterer, Ty Wolf, Weston Gilman, Kelsey Doe, Cambrie Erickson, Harlow Seymour, Meadow Olsonawski, Caleb Lane, Tucker Bock, and Brad Krebs.
Accompanist: Julie Opdahl, and Tour Actors/Directors were Peter and Sarah Kane. Peter also played the role of Frenchy.