Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Local News

February 23, 2012

A Missoula style learning frontier

Missoula leaders make PV latest character building stop

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Theater has long been accepted as a collaborative art, though exploring it as a personal learning frontier has become a traditional mission for those who have graced Pauls Valley through Missoula Children’s Theater.

This year’s production of “Cinderella” promises no less the character building potential, and helping to lead the production way this time around is Jordan Williams and Sarah Levy.

Part of what continues to allow the Montana based activity to do so well is because it both offers a sense of structure for kids from any number of backgrounds as well as give these children reinforcement they can use years into the future.

“Kids are so interesting and a lot smarter than we give them credit for,” said Levy, who is originally from Minnetonka, Minnesota. “I love when they want to show off for you, show you what they can do.”

There’s little time to dwell on mistakes with only four days to prepare for a show and audiences are usually too stunned to do anything except applaud the results, said Williams. Laughs may be a bigger part of the gig, though never previously in short supply, and with a new twist will include plenty of add-on characters people will find humor in from a town crier to the beggars.

“It’s really funny,” said Williams, who is originally from Seattle Washington. “All the characters have a funny quirk.”

The show will also be a musical of sorts and other than the confidence the kids get from the experience on stage, they will also have no trouble remembering the songs from the hours of rehearsal. Yet, even though the kids spend plenty of time learning all of these parts, the directors end up almost being as equally educated.

“The kids will be humming it all week and the audience will be leaving humming it too.. so it’s lots of memorable music,” said Levy. “We are here to teach them, but they teach us just as much.”

One might even think it requires a special kind of crazy since like other Missoula directors, they sign a one year contract and end up doing this every week save a few off near the end. However, it’s something they knew was coming from the mass auditions every director must go through and with theater backgrounds which both include college degrees in the field, is something they gladly embrace.

Even in their ninth month of their first time around, they wouldn’t trade the experience for anything and are considering doing this at least one more time before moving on. Of course, it’s not been without change from not knowing how they’d be able to handle a different town every week to now not being sure if they want to stop the good times.

“It’s really quite an amazing thing that we get to do this,” said Levy, who has also enjoyed stops in Oklahoma so far which have included Purcell and Bartlesville. “It’s been great... and incredible adventure.”

Shows for Missoula will take place at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at the Pauls Valley High School Auditorium. Tickets are general admission and will be $5.

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