Mountain Avenue Elementary School students, many of whom were evacuated from their homes last week, were still able to dance and sing their way through Camelot on Saturday, Jan. 23 as they staged a musical theatre production of “King Arthur’s Quest” in partnership with the Missoula Children’s Theatre Program. With only one week to rehearse the show, it was almost cancelled when authorities closed the school on Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 20 and Thursday, Jan. 21 leaving no site where the actors could practice. Thankfully, Crescenta Valley High School was able to offer its cafeteria after school and with only 12 hours of rehearsal, the 60 students performed two one-hour performances to packed audiences on Saturday, Jan. 23 at Roosevelt Middle School.
The Missoula Children’s Theatre Program, based in Missoula, Montana, travels to Mountain Avenue Elementary each January for one week and is sponsored by the PTA. The experience provides an opportunity to bring musical theatre to elementary schools at a time when funding for these programs is no longer budgeted. Two directors from Missoula, Emily and Evan Karlewicz, cast the show on Jan. 19 in a two hour audition and brought the sets and the handmade costumes from Montana in the back of their truck. There are currently nine original musicals touring 1,300 U.S. and international communities.
Information on Missoula can be found at www.mctinc.org.