Missoula Children’s Theater Presents ‘The Jungle Book’

Young thespians audition for last year’s production. Courtesy/MCT
 
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post

Missoula Children’s Theater (MCT), through the Los Alamos Arts Council’s sponsorship, will present its production of “The Jungle Book” to Los Alamos.

Auditions were held Monday and those who received a part will spend the week rehearsing the musical and perform at 7 p.m. Saturday at Crossroads Bible Church. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for children age 12 and younger.  

This is more than an opportunity to get on stage, it is a chance for young thespians to gain confidence in themselves. Charlette Rawls, who is directing “The Jungle Book” along with Maria Norris, said one the biggest benefits she sees is that MCT participants gain confidence in their abilities.

“The most benefit I see is the confidence in the kids and (they learn) they can achieve goals,” she said.

Rawls said MCT is a really amazing program to help children overcome their insecurities. Still, getting youngsters to learn lines, remember cues and sing songs does not come without challenges. 

”Our biggest challenge is really making the time to teach the show and having the resources to teach the kids,” Rawls said.

She added they need to make sure each child is assigned the right part. Yet, when given patience and trust, the children excel.

“They take it and run with it and it’s an amazing thing to see,” Rawls said.

Rawls and Norris have spent their summer traveling between Colorado and New Mexico to bring musical productions to communities throughout the states. Rawls said they started working at MCT in May and their contract is through May 2016.

Both directors bring professional experience to the job. Norris graduated from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and has performed in several musicals such as “Hairspray,” “Avenue Q” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

Rawls graduated from the Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts and has appeared in the world premiere of the musical, “Christmas is Here Again,” as well as “The Penelopiad” and “Our Town.”

Although they are the directors, Rawls said they also are learning new things. Rawls said she has learned how to become a better teacher and actor.

“It’s an equal learning experience for us as well as for the kids,” she said.

The performance is 7 p.m. July 25 at the Crossroads Bible Church. Tickets can be purchased at the door starting at 6:30 p.m. at $10 for general admission and $5 for children who are 12 years old or younger.

In addition to directing and putting on the play, Missoula Children’s Theater also is offering enrichment workshops that are free to everyone. The Arts Council thanks Los Alamos County and New Mexico Children’s Foundation for their support of Missoula Children’s Theatre.

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