Talents to blossom during ‘The Secret Garden’


Talents to blossom during ‘The Secret Garden’

By Mike Van Sickle
Union editor

Children from throughout the area are cordially invited to let their talents bloom and take to the stage during the upcoming production of “The Secret Garden” in West Union.

The community’s Parks and Recreation Department is hosting the return of the Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT) traveling troupe Monday, July 29, through Saturday, Aug. 3.

MCT previously visited West Union in 2008 and 2009 and with local cast members helped produce “Rumpelstiltskin” and “The Little Mermaid,” respectively.

“On behalf of the West Union Parks and Recreation Board, I am very happy to announce that we have received enough donations from individual community members and local businesses that we can offer the Missoula experience free of charge,” said director Kathy Guyer.

“In addition to the monetary donations, we are extremely appreciative of Norma Kerr for hosting the Missoula directors and Stephanie Nuss, who has volunteered to serve as the accompanist,” she added.

“We are especially hopeful that children from throughout the area will try out for the production,” she closed.

The production

“The Secret Garden,” an original Missoula Children’s Theatre rendition, is a joyful retelling of a story of hope and celebration and all good things in life.  

Mistress Mary Quite Contrary embarks on a journey from India to her uncle’s home in England. Along the way she makes friends with the hilarious Canadian Geese and the colorful Giant Bugs That Rock!  

In time she learns to appreciate everything around her, including the Moor Animals and the helpful Fireflies. Add to that a good healthy dose of caring, and what happens?  

Colin, Martha, Archibald – well, the whole household – begin to enjoy the return of health and happiness in a garden carefully tended…until it blossoms once more. 

The MCT production, its music, and lyrics are by Michael McGill.

Auditions open Monday

“The Secret Garden” auditions will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, July 29, at the North Fayette Performing Arts Center (PAC) in West Union. The tryouts are open to those students entering first through 12th grades. 

Approximately 50 local students will be cast to appear in the show with the MCT tour actor(s)/director(s). There is no guarantee that everyone who auditions will be cast in the play. 

MCT provides costumes, scenery, and additional items for the performing arts program, while the community provides the children, accompanist, and venue. Also included in the residency are three enrichment workshops presented by the tour directors.

Those wishing to audition are required to arrive by the scheduled starting time and stay for the entire two-hour session. No advance preparation is necessary. The first rehearsal begins approximately 15-30 minutes after the audition.

Rehearsals will be conducted throughout the remainder of the week from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the North Fayette Valley High School Cafetorium and PAC.

The performances will be presented on Friday, Aug. 2, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 3, at 3 p.m. in the PAC.

MCT was developed in 1970 by Jim Caron and Don Collins in Missoula, Mont. The duo organized a company of adults who conducted plays for children on a makeshift stage in a local movie theatre.

In addition to its own community theatre, the company now hosts an international tour and performing arts camps. The MCT mission is the development of life skills in children through participation in the performing arts. 

For additional information, call West Union Parks and Recreation Director Kathy Guyer at (563) 422-3685 or (563) 380-8496.


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