PARKERSBURG - The Smoot Theatre will conclude its Kids Club Series with the annual visit by the Missoula Children's Theatre program.
The Kids' Club is a series designed for children as an introduction to live theater and the performing arts. Community interest in the series has grown each year since its inception, said Smoot director Felice Jorgeson.
For a second year, the MCT will stay at the Smoot for two weeks, instead of one, and put on two shows with two different casts, said Jorgeson.
This year's production will be "King Arthur's Quest," to be performed at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and April 17. Admission will be $11 for adults and $8 for children. Reserve seats and information are available by calling (304) 422-PLAY (7529) or online at www.smoot-theatre.com .
Local children, from kindergarten through 12th grade, auditioned for roles in both casts on Monday. Fifty students were selected for each production. The first group is rehearsing for four hours after school each day this week for Saturday's performances, while the second group will follow the same pattern for the April 17 shows.
Jorgeson said the decision to expand the program last year was the result of large turnouts for the auditions in the last few years. About 180 children auditioned for the program at the Smoot two years ago, but only 50 could be chosen. Beginning last year, more children have the chance to participate in the youth theatre program, she said.
The Missoula Children's Theatre is the nation's largest touring children's theater and will visit nearly 1,300 communities this year with 47 teams of tour actor/directors. A tour team arrives in a given town with a set, lights, costumes, props and makeup, everything it takes to put on a play except the cast.
The team holds an open audition and casts 50 to 60 local students to perform in the production. The show is rehearsed throughout the week and two public performances are presented on Saturday. All MCT shows are original adaptations of classic children's stories and fairy tales. The residency also includes three enrichment workshops presented by the tour actor/directors.