Volume 10 Week 23

Saturday, March 4


Updated July 223

Posted Feb. 17

Orléans Ward
Bob Monette





(Posted 3:30 p.m., Feb. 1)

Missoula Children's production of Brothers Grimm classic a genuine treat
By Fred Sherwin
Orleans Online

Every year for the past 12 years, the Missoula Children's Theatre company has rolled into Orléans to give young people between the ages of five and 18 a chance to take part in a live theatre production.

The process begins with a casting call a week before the production is scheduled to hit the stage. Out of the auditions about 55 to 60 lucky youngsters are selected to go through five days of rehearsals culminating in the actual performance.

This year's production of "Hansel and Gretel" was performed in front of two packed houses on Saturday.


Missoula Children's Theatre presented a different twist on the classic fairy tale 'Hansel and Gretel' on Saturday featuring 58 young actors from the local area. Fred Sherwin/Photo

While most people maybe familiar with the Grimm's fairy tale classic, Missoula Children's Theatre always seems to put an interesting and entertaining twist on the story and this year's production was no different.

Hansel and Gretel are actually Hank and Gretchen, two teenagers who have to stay at home while their friends go off to the Wildwood Summer Camp. The family was recently abandoned by their father and their mother can't afford the registration fees.

Left at home, the siblings fall asleep while reading "Hansel and Gretel" and start dreaming of their Granny Wally who has been asked by their mother to leave them alone in the words because she can't afford to feed them anymore.

Alone in the words, Hank and Gretchen stumble upon the Wildwood Witch and are terrified they'll be eaten until they find out that the witch is actually a misunderstood vegetarian.

It's a hilarious twist to the classic tale which carries the message that you should never judge a book by the cover and you should always eat your veggies.

The play was thoroughly entertaining due in large part to the performances of the principal cast members. Kat Palmer as Gretchen, David Schlachter as Hank and Sarah Agozino as the Wildwood witch, were all fabulous as was Jennifer Owen who played Granny Wally and helped produced the show with fellow MCT tour team member JoLeen Davis.

The beauty about Missoula Children's productions is that they are able to incorporate so many actors and make them all feel apart of the play. There's even an opportunity for those who don't earn a part to help out backstage as assistant directors.

A total of 58 young people took part in Saturday's production. The youngest of the bunch were cast as wallybirds, while the next oldest group played the nasties and so on.

The play contained six or seven musical numbers all of which were performed as an ensemble, accompanied on piano for the fourth year in a row by Nicolas Butt from Orléans.

The productions have also become a family affair with a number of siblings taking part. This year's production included 10 sets of siblings including three sets of three siblings.

For more information about Missoula Children's Theatre visit www.mctinc.org. Or contact Jenny Anderson or Heather Dunbar at MCT Orleans who are the local producers of the MCT touring production.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)



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