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Missoula Children’s Theatre auditions set for Monday

Auditions for this year’s Missoula Children’s Theatre productionwill be held Monday at 3:30 p.m. in the Lipsey SchoolGymnasium.

The 2007 production is “Beauty Lou and the Country Beast,” anadaptation of “Beauty and the Beast,” with the story in ruralsetting.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre is a non-profit organizationbased out of Missoula, Montana. Members travel the country andspend a week in each different location, working with groups ofchildren to put on a production in a week.

“They say Brookhaven always has fantastic auditions,” saidKatherine Bumgarner, the publicity chairwoman for the BrookhavenArts Council. “They tell me most of the time we have enough talenthere to almost make two full casts.”

There are roles available for children ages 5 to 18, and between50 and 60 local children will be chosen for the show. There is noguarantee that everyone who auditions will be chosen for theshow.

“We always have a good turnout,” said Bumgarner. “One thing thatstrengthens it is that we have children who are home schooled whocome out, as well as children from Franklin and Copiah counties.And it’s fantastic because the children get to be such goodfriends.”

Parents are welcome to stay for the auditions, and children mustbe picked up at 5:30 p.m.

Those cast in the play will need to stay briefly to receiveinstructions for the week. Children cast as main characters willhave their first rehearsal at the Brookhaven High School auditoriumapproximately 30 minutes after the audition.

Rehearsals will be held every day from from 3:30 p.m. to 7:45p.m. in the BHS auditorium. All children auditioning must have aclear schedule for the week.

“It’s amazing how well the Missoula staff get the kidsresponding,” said Bumgarner. “They learn all these things in just aweek.”

The actual performances will be held Saturday, March 10, at 3p.m. and 7 p.m.

Bumgarner said the Missoula Children’s Theatre staffers whovisit Brookhaven are not only focused on the production, but alsoon bettering the arts in area schools as well.

“They also do workshops at the local schools,” she said. “Theygo in on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during the day, becausethe rehearsals are in the afternoons.”

The Missoula Children’s Theatre productions, now in their eighthyear in Brookhaven, are also a community effort on otherlevels.

“We have volunteers from the Brookhaven Arts Council that helpprovide supervision and some of the meals at night for therehearsals,” said Bumgarner. “Also, local restaurants provide foodfor the Tour Actor Directors from the troupe.”

She went on to say that members of the community take uptickets, hand out programs and do other tasks necessary to pull offthe show.

“Anyone can volunteer to help,” said Bumgarner. “Being a memberof the Arts Council is just volunteering.”

In addition, several area banks are donating funds and providingT-shirts for the children selected to the cast of the play.