Missoula's performance was a hit once again. With 50 students taking part in the production, the stage at Carlyle Elementary School was filled with talented individuals that stole the attention of a gymnasium of spectators.
Seats in the gymnasium were filled by more than 190 spectators including family and friends, grandparents and cousins. The audience watched attentively as the actors told the story of "The Tortoise Versus the Hare."
Students taking part in this year's production spanned the ages including performers from Kindergarten right up to grade nine. All students interested in participating were encouraged to attend the group audition. Students then practiced twice daily, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., for the remainder of the week to prepare for the performance.
And what a performance it was. The hard work of a week jam-packed full of practices was obvious as the performers took to the stage.
The performance told the story of the inhabitants of Sandy Bottoms, who under the hot desert sun, were preparing for the annual race between the Reptiles and the Mammals.
Mimicking the classical tale, the audience watched as the news reporters brought them up-to-date with the on-goings of Sandy Bottoms and race preparations. Spectators were introduced to an abundance of characters from reporters to managers to race fans.
Curly Hare's managers bragged about their racing star, with expectations of a win on race day, while the more docile reptiles gathered to select their candidate. The old tortoise, who was selected in previous years, was once again chosen to represent the reptiles.
As the spectators watch the race through the eyes of a news team, the audience soon discovered that this story was about more than a race. The performance tells the story of the rivalry between the brown animals and the green animals, and the divisions caused by colour.
The story takes an interesting turn when in the midst of the excitement about the race, a little bunny goes missing in the wilds of Tornado Gulch. All divisions are forgotten when the old Tortoise comes across the lost bunny during the race.
It is then that the wisdom of the old tortoise teaches the audience that 'colour is just a colour' and the Hare learns a lesson about what is truly important.
In the end, the old Tortoise, the Hare, and the lost little bunny cross the finish line together and the animals learn from the foolishness of their ways.
Carlyle Elementary School hosted the international Missoula Children's Theatre from Oct. 24 to 28. Missoula Children's Theatre has residency in four provinces, two territories, 50 states and sixteen countries. The group travels providing theatre workshops to organizations throughout the world.
This is the sixth time the theatre group has been invited to Carlyle Elementary School.
The old tortoise 'Coach' was played by Marissa Owens.
Madison Hourd played the role of the Curly Hare.
The thespian troupe was played by Haylee Barta, Raine Smith, Sheredin Slykhuis, Ashley Gilks, Kaelie Bouchard, Norma Shepherd and Ronald Allary.
The WMCT TC Crew was played by Shelby McNair, Daysha Smith and Morgan Robertson.
The WMCT stagehands were played by Alexandria Laderoute, Jace Fischer and Emmett Guider.
The reptiles included Rylan King, Rese King, Madison Messier, Natalie Haddow, Tori Chapman, Anna Doty, Trinity Morrissette, Emily Bouchard, Judah Wardrope and Brayden Hill.
The mammals were played by Sanchel Taypotat, Hope Roberston, Gracie Schutz, Taylor Sargent, Delan Robertson, Jenna McAuley and Kendra Schultz.
Curly's Posse included Audrey Darath, Tatiana Joyea, Kaedin Slykhuis, Denae King, Madison Magotiaux, Carter Morrison, Taris Rae, Kyla Fischer and Sasha Aragon.
Curly Hare's fan club was played by Ashley Foster, Rylee Himmelspeck, Makenna Henry, Makenna Slykhuis, Zadie Gervais, Jessie Henry, Riley Gilks, Braydon Hourd, Vashti Wardrope, Marissa Mason and Darcie Rae.
Assistant directors for the performance were Karli Colpitts and Mercedes Sackman.
Carroll Dyck filled the role of accompanist for the production.