Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

January 28, 2013

Latest set of Missoula directors taken in by PV charm

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

emann@pvdemocrat.com — The Missoula Children’s Theater has always carried with it plenty of cherished memories each year it has made an appearance in Pauls Valley.

However, there are also a lot of special experiences for each duo of directors, no less true than for the latest set, Grace McGeoch and Vicky Siegrist. While the shared goal from the moment they started in May as they travel to towns across the country is always to teach valuable skills through musical theater, both can attest how each community often comes with plenty of lessons they can use later in life.

 “I had never done children’s theater before this so I was kind of hesitant about that part, but the traveling was a big part of it,” said Siegrist, who is originally from Bowling Green, Kentucky and noted how both had just graduated this past May with a degree in musical theater and got into the Montana based job at audition conferences. “It’s really hard work, but it’s a lot of fun at the same time.”

Joining together in October after doing separate gigs, McGeoch noted how she never stops being amazed at how quickly and willingly kids will take on something so challenging with only a couple of days to learn their lines and songs. She said if an adult were given the same task they might look at someone if as if they were crazy and added how it was refreshing to see the kids not have a limit to what they were asked to achieve.

This time around they will be presenting “The Secret Garden,” a show which will still include much of the expected comedy audiences are used to seeing and creative reimagining with extra quirky characters like Canadian geese. However it is also the first in the drama category dealing with real life issues like a young girl who loses her parents and discovers a new purpose in life while living with her Uncle through an abandoned garden.

“I had never known Missoula Children’s theater existed before they called me back to interview with them…I just thought the whole concept was cool,” said McGeoch, who is originally from Argyle New York and added how it was a good transition since she had worked with kids in college through teaching them dance. “It’s really rewarding to see the difference in a week how far the kids come from auditioning on Monday to putting together the show.”

The one thing the directing duo has noticed that sets this particular performance stop apart is how creative the kids in the schools here have been. They have also found a way to be funny even when they aren’t trying to be and even the new kids can’t wait for the next time when the show is over.

“If something goes wrong they don’t have a meltdown, they just laugh,” said Siegrist. “I think this particular group in Pauls Valley though, the funniest things they do is their creativity with how they’re telling the story… they’re doing stuff I’ve never seen anybody do and we’ve been touring this show for a really long time.”

Both will conclude this current tour in May and said while a break is in order to give them time to see what else they could pursue, they are open to doing another tour in the future. After they leave Garvin County they have two other stops in Oklahoma in Purcell and Antlers.