The prince of “Yon Castle”

Missoula brings Rapunzel to life

Missoula Children's Theatre comes to Campbell River

Rapunzel let down her long, golden locks from her high tower and into a world populated by the Three Bears, the Billy Goats Gruff and other fairy tale characters as Missoula Children’s Theatre returned to Campbell River last week.

Sponsored by School District 72, the appearance by the touring theatre company gave local students from kindergarten to Grade 12 an opportunity to audition for, rehearse and perform an original musical play, all in the span of six days.

“It’s hard-core,” Grade 12 student Manesha Pains said with a laugh, following the first of two performances to a packed house at Timberline Secondary School theatre Saturday. “But it’s really, really fun, and the instructors never make it boring. The rehearsals are just as fun as the performance, I would say.”

Missoula Children’s Theatre, based in Missoula, Montana, is made up of pairs of touring actor/directors who travel throughout North America and beyond, teaching theatre skills to youth through schools and other organizations.

Tatjana Moffitt and Shelby Mariah Art arrived here following a week in Sointula with full sets of costumes and portable sets, and an original script usually based on a familiar children’s tale that has been modified with music, characters suitable for a wide range of potential ages, and a moral message.

In the case of Rapunzel, the tale of a young girl given up by her parents at birth and locked away in a tower, it was blended with several other fairy tales as characters interacted with each other and learned the lesson that it’s never too late to practice a little kindness toward one another. After auditioning Monday afternoon, the youngsters rehearsed each day after school, then staged two shows for an audience.

In addition to the actors, some students are trained as backstage assistant directors.

The musical numbers were accompanied by pianist Lynn Montgomery.