Missoula Children’s Theatre coming to Sun Peaks

Organizers say bringing in the US-based production company will help foster theatre skills in youth and assist ArtZone’s capacity for future productions.
A large building with an arena and a stage is shown with a bright blue sky in the background.
Youth will perform a musical rendition of Rapunzel at the new Sun Peaks Centre Stage this fall. Photo by Liz McDonald

Would-be thespians will soon have an opportunity to showcase their talents locally, thanks to ArtZone and Missoula Children’s Theatre.

ArtZone is bringing Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT), a US-based theatre company, to the community this fall for a musical production of Rapunzel, with auditions and workshops for youth at Sun Peaks School and Sun Peaks Academy from kindergarten through Grade 12. The production will be the first large-scale theatre show created by Sun Peaks locals and will use the newly built stage. ArtZone hopes the production will benefit youth interested in theatre and help build local capacity for future performances. 

ArtZone volunteer Alex Morrissey said even if youth aren’t pursuing careers in theatre, they will learn valuable life skills.

“The benefits of bringing Missoula Children’s Theatre is that [it] sparks creativity, helps [kids] grow social skills, goal achievement, communication skills,” Morrisey explained.

He added that producing local theatre would reduce strain on families whose kids participate in theatre, as they would otherwise need to drive to Kamloops and back an hour each way, plus the time spent in rehearsals.

From Oct. 2 to 7, production ramps up before actors take the stage. On Oct. 2, youth enrolled at Sun Peaks School are encouraged to audition for 50 to 60 on-stage roles, and four will get to work in technical support. The week leading up to the play entails age-specific workshops run by MCT, ensuring all youth can learn theatre skills. Finally, on Oct. 7, students will captivate the audience during two showings, one at 3 p.m. and another at 5:30 p.m.

According to Morrissey, ArtZone will also grow as a result, as he believes this theatre production will provide a script for the organization to learn from.

“I do have a very big vision for growing community theatre that I would love to implement in the coming years,” he said. “In order to get to that, we have to start with these small productions and do baby steps and feel our way through.”

He highlighted getting funding for arts organizations can be a challenge and a rendition of Rapunzel will be proof of concept to leverage future funding.

Taking part in the production and workshops comes at zero cost to children and families thanks to various community sponsors, and The Rotary Club of Sun Peaks is subsiding ticket sales. Bear Country Property Management is providing accommodations for theatre directors from MCT.

The group hopes to hire a pianist to accompany the production and is actively recruiting.

“If anyone knows anyone, reach out,” Morrissey said. “I really want to explore live music because it makes it so much more interactive when we add that component.”

The pianist would need to be available for rehearsals, and they would be paid for their time. Interested pianists can contact ArtZone through email
Tickets go on sale soon for $10 and can be purchased online.

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