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Missoula Children's Theatre spends a week at Broadwater Elementary School

Broadwater performing "Hercules"
Posted at 10:22 AM, Jan 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-12 12:22:28-05

HELENA — In the first week of the Missoula Children's Theatre's (MCT) winter and spring tour, they visited Broadwater Elementary School in Helena.

On Monday, roughly 60 elementary schoolers auditioned for the play "Hercules." By Friday, the full 60 minutes will be performed by students in front of a live audience.

Broadwater Elementary School performing

4th-grader Isaac Thies said, "I stayed up a lot last night trying to memorize it...till 9 o'clock last night."

"Hercules" is Thies' first play, and his role is Aristotle.

"I've always liked being on stage, I do the talent show every year. I like having my own scripts and saying stuff and doing plays," he said.

According to MCT, after 50 years, they are "the nation's largest touring children's theatre." During each season, they tour for five months, visiting all 50 states, five Canadian provinces, and 17 other countries.

"[I] wanted to give kids the opportunities I wish I had growing up. So, opportunities to do theater, opportunities to act. All of that," said MCT Tour Director Logan Chance.

In addition to the play, tour directors and actors from MCT bring enrichment workshops into classrooms, teaching students about the importance of the arts.

Students Performing

Vireo Zackheim is a 5th-grade student at Broadwater Elementary School, and she said, "I'm pretty sure that I'm one of the only people in the cast to have been in a play before, so it's cool to see all the other people and their ideas."

She plays the title character and has been in three other shows, including playing Tiny Tim in "A Christmas Carol" at Grand Street Theatre.

MCT works with students in all grades, kindergarten through 5th grade.

"I've gotten to know a lot of people way better than I would have if I wouldn't have been in this play with them. I get to learn their names, which is much funner," Zackheim said.

The little performers will be putting on the show Friday at 1:00 p.m. for the entire school and 6:00 p.m. for the community.

Little Titans

Tickets are free, but donations will be accepted and given to the school.

MCT will also be heading to Smith Elementary School in Helena on January 29th.