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(Updated 1:30 p.m., Feb. 25)
Annual Missoula Theatre visit produces another 'Treasure'

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Jim Hawkins, played by Daniel Everett, looks on as Long John Silver, played by MCT tour director and actor Jacob Hawk, addresses the audience durng the production of Treasure Island earlier this month. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The Missoula Children’s Theatre company (MCT) made its annual visit to Orléans earlier this month, providing 60 kids with a theatre production experience they won’t soon forget.

The MCT is based in Missoula, Montana where they train young producers/actors, known as “presenters”, who then fan out across North America to bring the joy of theatre to communties like Orléans.

The presenters travel in pairs using their own vehicles packed full of costumes and a backdrop for the stage. To keep costs down, the presenters are billetted with host families who help publicize and promote the local productions.

Auditions for this year’s traveling production of “Treasure Island” were held on Monday during which each budding actor is cast as a member of the ensemble. The younger kids usually form the chorus while the teenagers are cast in the lead roles. Rehearsals are then held throughout the week, culminating in a pair of performances on the Saturday.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre production of Treasure Island featured a cast of 60 young actors age seven to 17. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Each production also has a life lesson “theme”. For instance the underlying theme of the MCT production of “Treasure Island” was the importance of working together in order to accomplish great things.

Specifically, Long John Silver and his band of pirates had to work together with Jim Hawkins and his ruffians in order to find the buried treasure.

MCT presenter Jacob Hawk was cast as Long John Silver, while his partner, Samantha Hayes, served as director.

The co-lead role of Jim Hawkins was played by Daniel Everett, 17, from Orléans. Cap’n Flint was played by Brandon Kehoe, and Mother Hawkins was played by Megan Maclean.

The pirates were an assortment of crazy characters with even crazier names like Goldie the Hun, Davey the Letterman, Sing Sing Sam, Cap’n Patches, Whitey, Rosie the Red, and Big Ol’ Blue.

In the play, Long John Silver discovers that Jim Hawkins has a treasure map for Skull Island which he found on the body of Cap’n Flint who keels over and dies in his mother’s restaurant.

Silver tricks Hawkins into joining forces and together they sail off in search of the treasure with a crew of pirates and conscripted town ruffians. But unbeknownst to the two antagonists, Jim’s five sisters have stowed away on the ship and plot to get them to work together and eventually become friends.

This is the sixth Missoula production I have attended and I am still amazed at the ability of the cast to go from auditions to production in just five days. It speaks volumes about the abilities of the MCT tour directors and cast members alike.

Auditions for next year’s production will be held in early February. If you would like an advance notice of the audition date e-mail Kim Kimbell at kimbells-five@sympatico.ca and she will be more than happy to put you on her contact list.

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


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Posted Jan. 12

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