Students from 1st to 12th grades partook in the Missoula Childrenâ€™s Theatre rendition of â€œThe Secret Garden,â€ Saturday.
â€œItâ€™s pretty cool because itâ€™s a different play each year,â€ said Samantha Wise, 12, an MCT veteran. â€œThey add things into the play to give it more flavor, like me. Iâ€™m a Canadian goose.
â€œItâ€™s fun working with Missoula,â€ Wise said. â€œThe team members are enthusiastic, and get you into it. They make sure you give it your all.â€
Auditions were held the morning of July 16 at Colonel Johnston Elementary School allowing the children all week to rehearse before their final performance Saturday night.
â€œWe want to plant the seed for the appreciation of the arts,â€ said Kirsten Paisley, one of the two Missoula tour actor-directors who traveled to Fort Huachuca. â€œThese kids have been fantastic â€¦ Iâ€™m really excited to be here.â€
Paisley said all of their plays are based on either fairytales or classic folklore, and every play is a musical.
â€œMissoulaâ€™s mission is to teach life skills,â€ said Megan Hartman, a fellow Missoula tour actor-director. â€œFrom the first day to the last day we ask ourselves, â€˜do the kids grow, or learn something about themselves?â€™â€
The Missoula Childrenâ€™s Theatre travels to all 50 states, including 17 different countries.
â€œItâ€™s amazing to see what these children can learn in a week,â€ said Suzanne Crawford, SKIESUnlimited instructional program specialist.
â€œWe want these kids to have a lot of self confidence, practice, and have a lot of fun,â€ Crawford said. â€œAs long as you try, you should be proud of yourself.â€
The performance was fantastic,â€ said Kim Maheu, assistant director, Expanding Horizons Child Development Center. â€œIt was absolutely amazing! It was colorful, cheerful, and the children performed splendidly,â€ she said. â€œThere is total dedication on the part of the people who come in and on the part of Suzanne Crawford. â€¦ They work really hard to put this together,â€ she stated.
The SKIESUnlimited, Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills, offers a variety of classes for military children and youth.
â€œWe try to offer as many things as possible for children in the summer, and throughout the year, to keep them busy,â€ Crawford said.
â€œI thought the performance was fantastic,â€ said Susan Ford, whose daughter was in the production.
â€œThe way they put it all together in five days is amazing,â€ Ford said. â€œI hope they have more stuff like this.â€
Maheu said that, as far as she knows, the Childrenâ€™s Missoula Theater will be back again next year.