Missoula Children’s Theatre seeking young talent for auditions

HUMBOLDT — Arts Humboldt is seeking student talent for a production of Jack and the Beanstalk with the Missoula Children’s Theatre.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre is a non-profit organization based in Missoula, Montana. Arts Humboldt brings the group in annually to teach acting to local youth to have them perform in that year’s show.

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“It fills a bit of a void and a bit of a gap in the community because there’s not a lot of musical theatre for children in Humboldt,” said Brian Grest, an executive member of Arts Humboldt.

The auditions for the Missoula Children’s Theatre production of Jack and the Beanstalk will be held on Sept. 9 at 4 p.m., located at the Humboldt Public School Gymnasium. There are roles for students Kindergarten through Grade 12.

Grest said the students can prepare by bringing their enthusiasm and their boisterousness.

“They need to be loud, they need to draw attention to themselves.”

Approximately 55 local area students will be cast to appear in the show, acting and singing alongside one of the Missoula Children’s Theatre or directors. There is no guarantee that everyone who auditions will be cast in the play.

At the same time, Grest said just because someone doesn’t have past experience doesn’t mean they won’t get selected.

“Last year was the first time ever that we had more people show up there than parts, so unfortunately we didn’t have room for everybody who came to audition last year – but that’s the first time that has happened,” he said.

Arts Humboldt is especially hoping to get older students between the ages of Grade 9 to 12.

“There are parts more suitable for the older kids,” Grest said. “Some of the older roles are clearly individual roles, they take lead roles, they have to memorize lines and they are onstage basically by themselves where the really younger kids are in a little troupe.”

Commitment varies, with older actors being typically given twice daily practices for a week, and younger actors typically given daily practices for just a few days.

“It is a professional troupe coming out here, they work miracles in that short time they work with the kids.”

Students wishing to audition must arrive by 4 p.m. on Sept. 9 and stay for the entire two-hour session. Students must also be prepared to stay at the location for the first rehearsal shortly after the auditions until about 8:15 p.m., with the exception of some of the younger students.

Grest got into organizing the Missoula Children’s Theatre in Humboldt annual event after his daughter had a positive experience with it.

He said for his daughter it helped with socialization, focus, musical skills and logical thinking.

“With a lot of kids it brings out a part of them that they never knew existed, it’s great for their social skills, it’s fantastic for their confidence and of course we all know taking part in the arts has a lot of advantages as well,” Grest said.

The final performances will be held on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 3 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. on the Humboldt Collegiate stage.

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