Theatre camp leads to the woods

Missoula Children’s Theatre welcomes youth to be part of Hansel and Gretel this summer at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre.

Local children can be a part of the staging of Hansel and Gretel when the Missoula Children’s Theatre returns to the Performing Arts Centre in July.

Local children can be a part of the staging of Hansel and Gretel when the Missoula Children’s Theatre returns to the Performing Arts Centre in July.

Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT) is returning to Vernon this summer and registration opens up on Tuesday for the theatrical experience of a lifetime.

North America’s largest touring children’s theatre will arrive once again at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre with all the ingredients for their new production of Hansel and Gretel… except the cast.

Registration is open for local children ages six to 18 to be part of the 50-to-60 member cast. The camp begins July 9 and runs until the 13th from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

On July 14, the group will take all they have learned to stage Hansel and Gretel at the Performing Arts Centre.

“For those who aren’t interested in being in the spotlight, there are also four backstage spots available that will teach important fundamentals of running a production from behind the scenes,” said Brian van Wensem, audience development coordinator with the Performing Arts Centre.

No preparation or prior experience is required to be a part of the camp, and participants need only to arrive with a bagged lunch and the desire to join an onstage adventure, learning a unique adaptation to the classic story of Hansel and Gretel.

“It’s an experience that develops creativity, social skills, goal achievement and self-esteem,” said van Wensem.

North America’s largest touring children’s theatre, Missoula Children’s Theatre has been touring extensively for 40 years now from Montana to Japan, and will visit nearly 1,200 communities this year with up to 47 teams of tour actor/directors.

“The production is more than memorizing lines,” said van Wensem. “Missoula Children’s Theatre’s mission statement is ‘the development of life skills in children through participation in the performing arts.’ While children are learning this theatrical production they will also have the opportunity to explore who they are as actors and people.”

Registration forms for the camp  can be obtained through the Ticket Seller box office, located at 3800-33rd St., Vernon. Registration is first-come-first-serve and there are a total of 60 casting spots available: 13 for ages six to seven, 22 for ages eight to 12, and 20 for ages 13 to 18. An additional four spots are available for assistant directors (backstage) open to ages 10 to 18.

“Throughout the week, participants will have the opportunity to sign up for additional workshops at no extra charge. These workshops typically take place in the morning before 10 a.m. and will be scheduled and announced prior to the camp start date,” said van Wensem.

There will be two performances of Hansel and Gretel on July 14 at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the performance  are $12 each, and can be purchased through the Ticket Seller box office by calling 549-SHOW (7469).