Last updated: July 17. 2014 12:18PM - 256 Views
By Marilyn Delk

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When one participates in theatre, one experiences the true meaning of community. As the old maxim states, in theatre there are no small roles.

Each actor’s lines and actions on stage are vital to the entire production, so a true team effort is required to achieve success. Each participant in the collaboration is essential to the whole; everyone must accept full and unrelenting responsibility for their contribution, and all involved depend on everybody else to do their part. A job well done provides rewards for all concerned, rewards also shared with those others who make up the audience that is entertained, informed, moved, and inspired by the proceedings on stage.

Darke County Center for the Arts is once again offering area youth the opportunity to enjoy the wonder of theatre by presenting a Missoula Children’s Theatre residency at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall July 28 through Aug. 2. All students entering first through 12th grade are invited to try out on July 28 from 10 a.m. until noon for one of the 60 available roles in MCT’s production of Rapunzel; no preparation is necessary for the group audition. Make sure that everybody you know is aware of this chance to take part in a magical week.

MCT’s mission is to develop life skills in children through participation in the performing arts. Academic studies show that such participation can improve academic performance and enhance self-esteem; but that’s not really the primary motivation for most youngsters. They seem to instinctively understand that being a part of this group project can be fulfilling and a whole lot of fun.

Of course, it’s also a week full of a whole lot of work, but if you drop by a rehearsal, you won’t see kids complaining about the effort required. Instead, you’ll be impressed by the team spirit displayed, the generous sharing of insight and knowledge between peers, the enthusiastic embrace of constructive criticism and humble acceptance of deserved praise, the unrestrained willingness to, when at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Rehearsals begin almost immediately following auditions, and continue daily throughout the week. Self-discipline is required, education takes place, interpersonal communication skills are developed; but those learning the lessons of group dynamics just seem to be having a really great time.

Missoula Children’s Theatre provides everything needed for a full-scale musical theatre presentation – script, score, set, props, costumes, and an acting/directing team consistently consisting of outstanding individuals who in addition to possessing diverse theatrical skills are excellent teachers, role models, and problem-solvers. MCT’s plays are cleverly written, uphold wholesome values, entertain children while charming adults, and contain delightful music that advances and enhances the story and sometimes sticks permanently in your head. No wonder MCT is our country’s largest touring children’s theatre, their 44 teams visiting almost 1200 communities each year!

Even if you are not eligible to join the cast of Rapunzel, you can join the fun. Two performances of the show will be presented on Aug. 2 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are just $5; as you witness the magic of theatre, you can take pride in the amazing accomplishments of a community effort where each participant is given an opportunity to shine while contributing to a successful project which creates not only happy memories but also skills to last a lifetime.

For more information, contact DCCA at 937-547-0908 or dcca@centerforarts.net. Tickets for Rapunzel can be purchased online at www.centerforarts.net and will be available at the door prior to the show.

Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at marilynd@bright.net. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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