Wednesday, 12 October 2011 15:45

Alice in Wonderland auditions Oct. 17 in Swift Current

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By Jessi Gowan — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Children in Swift Current have a unique chance to audition for roles for the Missoula Children’s Theatre production of Alice in Wonderland on Oct. 17.

Auditions will be held at Cornerstone Church located at 2150 Walker St. E., from 3:30-5:30 p.m., and will be open to students from Kindergarten through Grade 8.

“Last year, we had 75 to 100 kids show up, and we are thinking that we might actually have more this year,” explained organizer Melanie Friesen, with the Swift Current Allied Arts Council’s Koncerts 4 Kids. “Although they are limited to anywhere between 50 to 60 kids for the play, they do look for backstage help, as well.”

Among the roles to be cast are three Alices of varying size, her sister Margaret, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Queen of Hearts, the King of Hearts, the Knave of Hearts, the Cheshire Cats, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Flower Band, Cards and Lobsters. Assistant Directors will also be cast to aid in rehearsals throughout the week and to take on essential backstage responsibilities.

“The things we look for are three things that we go through with kids as part of our introduction to the audition,” noted Bridget Lachowsky, one of the tour actor and directors of Alice in Wonderland who will be working with the kids in Swift Current. “We want to hear loud, clear voices, see big, expressive bodies, and know that they can listen and follow directions.”

The children begin rehearsals immediately following Monday’s auditions, and will continue to rehearse each day from 3:30-8 p.m.

On Oct. 22, they will have the chance to perform the play for a live audience.

“MCT really has it down to a science, how to teach the kids quickly and efficiently,” explained Lachowsky. “They really break it down and have taught us the skills to teach the show in a very clear manner, so that it makes sense to the kids. By Wednesday at 6 p.m., they will already know everything they need to do in the show. It’s pretty incredible.”

With professional actors helping out both on-stage and behind the scenes, the children are given plenty of support so even if a cue is missed or a line is forgotten, the show can go on.

“The actors are so good, they can just improvise so well and keep it flowing,” Friesen said. “There’s not too much stress on the kids, and they are just so pumped about it by the end of the week and kids will come up to me a few months later asking when it’s coming back, because they want to be in on it again.”

Not only do the children have a good time learning about theatre, they also have an opportunity to enjoy a sense of accomplishment after the performance at the end of the week.

For many children, theatre is a  chance to discover a new talent.

“Sports are not for everyone, and when I was in my first play in Grade 7, it was the first time I felt like I had found something that I was good at,” Lachowsky explained. “You never know what strengths you might find within yourself. This experience is fantastic and can really be life-altering.”

The Missoula Children’s Theatre residency in Swift Current is presented by Koncerts 4 Kids, a division of the Swift Current Allied Arts Council with support from Innovation Credit Union, BMO Nesbitt Burns (Brad Gross), Swift Current Diesel, Wallace Construction, Breezin Studios (Ken Friesen), Dr. Melinda Klassen, Optical Image, Akropol, Music for Young Children (Janice Bezanson), Sputtergotch Toys, Dickson Agencies, and Larry and Colleen Jensen.

The community is invited to show their support by attending the production of Alice in Wonderland on Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. at Living Sky Casino’s Sky Centre, in Swift Current.

For more information, check out MCT’s website at or contact Melanie Friesen at 306-741-5603.

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