For the fourth straight year, the Lofte Community Theatre near Manley and Home State Bank of Louisville hosted a summer residency of the Missoula Children's Theatre. The two visiting directors, Lissa Supler of California and Tabatha Bettin of New York, arrived at the Lofte in a little red truck stuffed with the scripts, props, scenery and costumes required for the musical, "The Pied Piper." Supler and Bettin were greatly surprised on Monday morning to find that eighty-five children had arrived to audition for sixty roles. This was the largest group of children to have ever auditioned for a Lofte production.
After the audition process, sixty-five children received assignments for the available spots in the cast and crew. Some of the lead roles were played by Tucker Flodman of Eagle, Natalie Knott of Louisville, Zierra Flodman of Eagle and Ben Kirchner of Palmyra. The children rehearsed for four hours each day for the entire week of June 15-19. During that time, the actors learned their lines, songs and blocking, but more than that, they learned self-confidence. The few adults who were around to supervise that week, also enjoyed seeing how this group of kids made new friends so easily, and appreciated how the older ones automatically assumed a leadership role in helping the first and second graders.
Saturday, June 21 was the moment of truth. After a week of rehearsal and 390 sack lunches the children debuted "The Pied Piper" for an eager audience. They performed two times that day; 3pm and 6pm. In total, the kids performed in front of nearly 500 people. None of the actors seemed intimidated by the size of the crowd, and both of the shows went off with no obvious mistakes.
In the end, the Missoula directors thanked Home State Bank of Louisville for sponsoring their summer residency at the Lofte for the fourth straight year. They also thanked John and Lynn Plucknett of Louisville for hosting them in the Plucknett home during their visit. Then the scenery came down, the costumes were packed and the little red truck was once again filled to the gills with the trappings of live theater. The next stop for these directors was Sioux City where they would start the process all over again.
~Just when I was getting used to yesterday, along came today.
Have a Safe & Happy Fourth of July!