By Elvia Kelly, Fort Stewart Public AffairsJuly 27, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Youth from the Marne Division shined under the spotlight while performing “The Little Mermaid” with Missoula’s Children’s Theatre at the home of the Third Infantry Division, July 23.
Before the grand opening of “The Little Mermaid,” the young actors participated in a week-long hour rehearsal, polishing the final touches of Missoula’s musical for the weekend performance.
“We’re with Missoula’s Children Theatre based out of Missoula, Montana,” said Kristi Jacobs, tour actor director. “We arrived at Fort Stewart on Sunday evening (July 17). We auditioned the kids in town on Monday and we casted them in an hour-long musical that we rehearsed all week.”
The birth of Missoula Children’s Theatre began in 1970 by two individuals named Jim Caron and Don Collins. The first musical the theatre produced was Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
The company’s growth has grown in popularity since then. Missoula’s Children Theatre currently has 47 tour teams that travel nationally and internationally including Canada.
Jacobs said that the tour travels with two actors and directors in a little red truck.
“Missoula’s mission is the development of life skills in children who are participating in performing arts,” she said. “For me, that’s also a personal mission in life. I think that the arts really provide an outlet for kids who are otherwise too shy or hard to make friendships. It gives them confidence and a great self-esteem and allows them to go on in life and do other great things.”
The youth represented characters like sea horses, mermaids and theatre props like exotic fishes and crustaceans. The mermaids featured teens wearing colorful tails as well as the sea horses.
Decorated with bright colors and easy-to-move stage props, the stage set the scene for an “under the sea” experience played and sung by Fort Stewart’s energetic youth.
“We’re helping thousands and thousands and thousands of kids every year who are being touched by these plays and who are gaining those life skills that they need so they can go on and be successful in the business world or in the arts,” said Jacobs. “Whether they actually become an actress or not really isn’t the point. The point is to give them those life skills, those communication skills, that self-confidence that they need so that they can be successful in life.”
Jacobs said to keep an ear because Missoula is always in town. For more information about Missoula Children’s Theatre, visit www.mctinc.org.