Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

January 15, 2014

Missoula seeking students for Oz

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

emann@pvdemocrat.com — The stage will soon be set, and local actors of school grade age are welcomed once again to display their talents as Missoula Children’s Theater is coming back for another year in Pauls Valley.

Made possible through the direction of those like Pauls Valley Arts Council President Mike Dyson and area resident Fawn Riddle; the marathon acting workshop starts off this time with auditions at 3:45 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27 at the Bosa Community Center.

It’s a tradition that has been done here for 18 years where familiar tales like “Cinderella” or the “Secret Garden” are given a theatrical twist for a large cast with this year featuring an adaptation on the classic “Wizard of Oz.”

“A lot of the kids look forward to it every year,” said Dyson. “It’s one of the few chances they have to be in the theatrical arts.”

Per tradition, auditions are open for children who live in PV’s city limits, go to Whitebead or are home schooled here, according to Dyson.

The show gets its name from a traveling venue that comes from Missoula, Montana to towns all over the country with actors who help the kids put on the play that usually features comedy and music.

Dyson pointed out how he never ceases to be amazed with the whole process from how the visiting actors manage to corral all of the kids to the kids memorizing and putting the play together in only a few days.

He is thankful the show can continue to come back despite the cost to bring the show here going up every year, this time adding up to around $3,000, and noted how it was made partly possible this time around thanks to contributions that include local donors as well as the PV Tourism Board.

In the meantime, Dyson hopes it encourages people to become a member of the arts council, which will include chances to come up with ideas for their recycled art show in the spring.

“I think Missoula helps build confidence in kids, speaking ability and they shine in front of the audience,” said Dyson, adding how they get to share in the memory of the production later on with a DVD that is filmed during one of the performances.

“The production they put on allows for children of all ages and personality types to get a part.”

The performances are expected to be Friday, Jan. 31 at 12:30 p.m. for students in the schools, later that same evening at 7 p.m. for the general public and Saturday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. — all at the high school auditorium.

For more information call Dyson at 405-926-7126.