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The Arts & Cultural Council of the Twin Counties is partnering with Missoula Children’s Theatre of Montana to host a week-long residency to audition and cast up to 60 children, ages 5 to 18, in “Cinderella.”
Auditions for the play will be June 20 at 10 a.m. at the Galax High School auditorium. Children are encouraged to arrive by 9:30 a.m. to sign in.
During the week, the children rehearse the play, learning their lines, music and choreography.
On June 25 at 4 p.m. at Galax High School, the public is invited to attend the play and celebrate the fruit of their labor. Participation for the children is free of charge. Tickets are $5.
“A couple of our board members saw the production in Mount Airy [N.C.] and thought this absolutely has to be here,” said Laura Romanowski, director of the local arts council. “This is a hands-on artistic experience that, unless we do this here, the children won’t have this.”
When Missoula Children’s Theatre brought the production to Mount Airy, it charged $100 a child. Romanowski said the arts council wrote this cost into the budget to make the experience free for children. However, the council hopes to gain some of the money back through admission costs.
Missoula Children’s Theatre provides costumes and props.
All children in the Twin Counties are welcome to audition, and a couple of professionals with the children’s theatre will observe their personalities and movements to determine what roles are most suitable.
“Just be yourself and wear a big smile. Any kid can try out,” said Romanowski. “The best thing is they don’t know the kids, so they will see what the kids can do. This levels the play field.”
In addition to the main roles, they will be looking for children to play magical pumpkins, party goers, mice and horses.
“This is the first time the arts council has done this, and there is nothing more lovely than the story of Cinderella,” said Romanowski. “It’s time for something like this. We hope it becomes a tradition, and we want to keep it free for the kids.”
Rehearsals will be every day from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Galax High School in the auditorium and cafeteria. Although not all cast members will be needed at every session, those auditioning must have a clear schedule for the entire week of June 20-25 and, if selected, be able to attend all rehearsals required for their role.
Lunch will be available for cast members scheduled for the full rehearsal or they are welcome to bring food from home. Parents and guardians will need to arrange transportation to and from rehearsals and the performance for their participating children.
There is no guarantee that everyone who auditions will be cast in the play. Students wishing to audition must arrive by the scheduled starting time and stay for the entire two-hour session.
The first rehearsal begins approximately 15 to 30 minutes after the audition. This is a group audition and no advance preparation is necessary.
Children are urged to dress comfortably for the auditions.
The Missoula Children’s Theatre is a non-profit organization.
The residency in the Twin Counties is made possible by the Arts & Cultural Council of the Twin Counties, which is funded by individual, businesses and local municipalities, as well as the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Contact the arts council at 238-1217 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also available at www.artsculturalcouncil.org.
Special workshops offered for teachers
As part of their week-long residency, the actors from the Missoula Children’s Theatre will also be offering three free workshops.
Open to all Twin Counties teachers, each workshop is 45 minutes and will focus on “Theatre Games.”
The workshops are geared toward adult educators, childcare specialists and anyone who works with kids. Incorporating innovative exercises and theatre games, this hands-on, fun-filled workshop is designed as a guide to tap the creativity and spontaneity of children of all ages. Bring a notepad, pencil and imagination.
Each workshop can accommodate up to 60 participants. The workshops will be held on June 21 at 3:30 p.m., June 21 at 4:30 p.m. and June 22 at 4:30 p.m.
To sign up for a workshop, call Laura Romanowski at 238-1217