Missoula Children's Theatre traveling road show made its annual
stopover in Orléans last week to stage a production of The
Snow Queen at the Shenkman Arts Centre with the help of
60 young actors from the local community.
MCT Orléans production of The Snow Queen featured
Taylor Smith as Gerda and Jenna Stevenson as the Old
Robber Woman. Photo courtesy of Kimberly McRae
Missoula Children's Theatre company is based in Montana.
Every year they send out more than 40 teams of directors
and instructors to stage children's productions across North
America including Orléans where they have been coming for
more than 20 years.
entire production takes less than a week to stage, starting
with auditions on the Monday and culminating with a pair
of performances six days later.
than 80 children between the ages of five and 17 showed
up for auditions this year, making the task of selecting
the 60 member cast extremely difficult. The younger cast
members were given the supporting roles of Snow Chickens
and woodland animals, while the older kids were given the
lead roles or assigned to the chorus.
were handed out to the successful cast members immediately
after the auditions and rehearsals began after school the
Snow Queen is based on Danish fairytale about a girl
named Gerda whose friend Kay has been placed under a spell
by the Snow Queen and taken to her icy palace.
to find her friend, Gerda embarks on a quest that takes
her to strange lands where she meets a variety of characters
including a group of robbers led by the Old Robber Woman
and the Little Robber Girl; a Finnish gardener who tries
to place Gerda under her own spell; and a pair of crows
who help her find the palace where Kay is being held captive.
Gerda eventually frees her friend when her tears melt the
palace and break the spell.
Missoula production was a wonderful experience for the young
cast who had to learn their parts in less than a week with
the help of their Missoula instructors Justin Kline and
Daniel Boughton who did double duty as the director and
the narrator respectively.
for the play itself, considering the shortened time frame
they were working under, it was surprisingly entertaining.
The young cast members were adorable as the Snow Chickens,
as were the snow animals and the team of robbers.
favourite were the hobgoblins who had to double as trees,
a river, a bridge and a castle throughout the play.
lead role of Gerda was given to local children's theatre
veteran Taylor Smith who was her wonderfully talented self.
Kay was played by Tyson Grant and the part of the Snow Queen
was played by Miriam Pereira.
rest of the lead roles were played by Aidan Scheiman, Jenna
Stevenson, Zoe Tessier, Eden Baker, Anick Williams, Zachary
Everett, Olivia Paul, Aydriad Martin, William Baker and
find out more about future Missoula productions e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.