CULLMAN – In January, the Missoula Children's Theatre (MCT) will return to Cullman to present "Treasure Island" at the Cullman Civic Center, in partnership with Cullman City Parks and Recreation (CP&R). As with previous MCT productions, they'll be looking for local talent.
The Tribune spoke with event coordinator Waid Harbison to find out more. He shared a little about the production company and its long-standing relationship with CP&R:
"Missoula Children's Theatre is a touring company based out of Montana that sends staff across the country to put on shows for youth ages 5-18. This is one of the oldest programs we have at parks and recreation, as my sister and I were in these shows some 20 years ago, and the program is still going strong today." He went on to describe the MCT's traveling shows as "a huge way to promote the performing arts to kids at a young age."
MCT's mission, according to the organization's website, is "the development of life skills in children through participation in the performing arts."
This year's production, "Treasure Island," will begin with local auditions at the Cullman Civic Center, starting at 3:30 p.m. on Monday Jan. 16. Auditions are open to all children and youth ages 5-18. Daily rehearsals will then take place until Saturday, Jan. 21, when shows will be presented at 2 and 6 p.m. at the civic center. Auditions are free; families of those chosen for the cast will pay a small fee that will include parents' tickets.
Harbison feels the ongoing relationship between CP&R and MCT has a positive impact on the culture of Cullman, especially on its youth.
He said, "The big draw of this program is really offering the performing arts to young children. For many, MCT will be their first encounter with singing, dancing, acting and performing on stage. Having this opportunity for all the kids in our community is vastly important, as many will go on to have a future in performing arts, whether that be at a high school, college or even professionally down the road as several of our former participants are now involved in professional performing arts (including Morgan Smith, also known as the Wendy's spokesperson in many of their commercials and Paige Harbison who is a professional entertainer at Dollywood, having performed several times with Dolly Parton). CP&R is also dedicated to offering something for everyone in the community of all different interests and skill sets. This just adds to our department being able to offer even more for the community."
MCT and CP&R's productions are supported with funding and volunteer manpower by Shirley Quattlebaum and State Farm Insurance. For more information on MCT, visit the organization's website http://mctinc.org.
For more about CP&R’s arts and culture programs, see http://cullmanrecreation.org/arts-culture-programs/.
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