Local children to perform with Missoula Children’s Theatre

‘Gulliver’s Travels in Space,’ to take place on Friday, Saturday

Andrew Paisley, Campus Reporter

Local children between the ages of five and 14 will be performing this weekend in the production of “Gulliver’s Travels in Space,” directed by the Missoula Children’s Theatre.

Public performances of the show will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday, along with a 2 p.m. matinee and a final performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Dvorak Concert Hall at the Doudna Fine Arts Center. “Gulliver’s Travels in Space” is based on the novel “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift.

“The production is similar to the novel,” said Emily Nan Phillips, tour actor and director for Missoula Children’s Theatre. “The only difference is that Gulliver is tied up by aliens and travels around to different planets in space to help them out. After that, he has to try to find his way home.”

Phillips said of the children who auditioned, 30 were selected to perform in the production.

“We have a bit of a small group in this production,” Phillips said. “However, we have been amazed at how great they have been at performing, listening and singing.”

Chance Walker Carter, tour actor and director for Missoula Children’s Theatre, said it has been inspiring to see how well the children have studied lines that are equivalent to those of high school students.

“These kids have really been fantastic and have truly shown true talent during this week of rehearsing,” Carter said. “We may have a small group, but our group is what we would call ‘mighty,’ because of how wonderful they are.”

The Missoula Children’s Theatre is an internationally touring theatre group out of Missoula, Montana. The theatre goes from community to community each week, holding auditions on Monday and rehearsing from Tuesday to Friday with shows being held during the weekend.

“We really try to base the performance and rehearsals not just on theater itself, but also on education,” Carter said. “We want to emphasize the skills of leadership, communication and teamwork and we want to teach them literacy skills from the scripts that these kids may never learn in a classroom.”

Dan Crews, programming director of the Doudna Fine Arts Center, said Eastern is excited for this opportunity.

“I really think it will be a wonderful experience for the children in our community,” Crews said.

Andrew Paisley can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].