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By Tesia Galvan
Staff Writer 

Children's theatre comes to Worland


March 10, 2016

Tesia Galvan

Neverlander Moriah Brown rehearses for the Missoula Children's Theatre production of "Peter and Wendy." The production will have two showings, one at 3 p.m. and another at 5:30 p.m.

WORLAND – A traveling theater is in Worland and is already on day four of a weeklong production that will end with two showings of the production "Peter and Wendy" on Saturday.

"Peter and Wendy" will show two times on Saturday March 12: one show at 3 p.m. and another at 5:30 p.m. Eighty-six students ranging from ages 5 to 15 auditioned for the Missoula Children's Theatre with directors Chelsey Campbell and Ariana Mai Lucius.

Sixty-four students were picked four of whom will be assistant director and not actors, Campbell said.

Missoula Children's Theatre (MCT) is part of a touring theatre that travels to all 50 states and 17 countries worldwide, and was brought to Worland by the Washakie Museum and Cultural Center.

MCT sends out teams of two to communities to put on a show in seven days, including auditions and the final shows, co-director Campbell said.

"There are 32 teams on the road right now," Campbell said. Board members from the Missoula Children's Theatre chose what productions go on, Lucius said. "There are 10 or 8 different shows out right now."

Zachary Padilla was chosen for the role of Peter and Amber Vaughn was chosen for the role of Wendy and Campbell said they picked lead roles based off this criteria: loud voice, big and expressive body and facial movements and following directions. "Wendy does sing a solo in the show, so we looked at singing as well for her," Lucia said.

Raychel Duffy was casted as Shadow, Hailey Richard was cast as Tiger Lily and Rachel Carver was cast as Hook. Other casting included nine Lost Boys, six Neverlanders, eight Neverlanders creatures, nine Pirates and 16 Clouds. (See related story for complete cast list.)

Practice will continue on until Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. At auditions Campbell said being a part of this performance takes a lot of commitment.

Theatre is a great way for children to get involved and co-director Campbell said, "I think it [performing arts] teaches them life skills. It teaches them to be confident and comfortable in front of people. It teaches them teamwork, communication and discipline. It boosts their confidence, also. It gives them something they can succeed at. It's a hard work and it teaches them they can do hard things."

Co-director Lucius said, "It gives kids who aren't good ... or interested in sports something to focus on and look forward to."


Jenn Simmons, Executive Director Assistant at Washakie Museum and Cultural Center said it costs $5,000 to bring Missoula to Washakie County for children.

In addition to the production, Missoula also puts on three interactive workshops for the school children, and Simmons said the school district picks up the others.

While Simmons sets up Missoula coming to Worland, she said she lets the directors take over and runs logistics for them the week they are here for the production.

The cost isn't too much for the museum and Simmons said, "We receive generous financial partnership from Washakie County School District No. 1 and also receive money from the Wyoming Arts Council and the Marion Wilson Educational Fund."

Nelson and Page Dental even sponsor a cast party for the children after the final performance, she added.

The Missoula Children's Theatre production of Peter and Wendy will show Saturday at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. in the Worland Middle School Auditorium.

Tickets are available for sale at the door. A discounted price will be offered if attending both shows, and a DVD performance will be available for purchase.


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