Aladdin, Genie, Princess, Ali Baba, and a chorus of fleet footed camels will be lighting up the Wickaninnish Community School main stage at the end of the month, and Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT) is set to cast up to 60 local youth.
Missoula coordinator Suzanne Ryles said the travelling theatre company was brought to the Coast by the Pacific Rim Arts Society as a way to give children the opportunity to learn how to speak publicly and act in front of an audience.
“I signed my kids up back in ‘99 when there was no other theatre activities going on in town. I just wanted to give them that chance of trying something new,” she said. “My youngest daughter does want to be an actress and a lot of that has come from Missoula.”
A success story worth noting is Tofino’s Karis Cameron who acted in the MCT production of The Little Mermaid over 8 years ago. Cameron now plays the lead role of Dylan Blake in the teen mystery/drama TV series Open Heart.
Ryles explained that on audition day, the children will be asked to stand in a circle and say their name and age. She said those vying for the bigger roles need to speak with emphasis and speak with very good pronunciation.
“They (the directors) are looking for kids who can speak up and be heard by an audience because they are not micro phoned. And if you can sing, sing out loud. Michael Row the Boat Ashore is usually one of the songs they ask them to sing every year.” she said.
Rehearsals will be conducted throughout the week leading up to the grand theatre performance on Saturday, February 27 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.