What Parents Should Know

How will my child benefit from this experience?

The primary goal of MCT – indeed, the organization’s mission – is the development of lifeskills in children through participation in the performing arts. Within each MCT cast, girls and boys are equal; the disabled become able; the shy experiment with bravery; the slow are rehearsed to perfection; and the gifted become part of the whole. The lesson they learn is that all of them are necessary for the show to go on. Few arenas exist where responsibility is taught and learned so clearly. MCT provides a unique opportunity to learn the lessons of group dynamics while excelling as an individual – a lesson from art that carries into life. MCT strives to use participation in the performing arts as a vehicle to develop lifeskills including social skills, communication skills, self-discipline, a strong work ethic, an understanding of the team concept and self-esteem.

How many children can be in the cast?

All of our shows are written to incorporate an age range of 50-60 school age children.

What are the ages that can participate?

All of our shows are written to incorporate school age children through 12th grade. In the summer months (June-August), the youngest participants must be entering 1st grade to be eligible to participate. During the school year tour (September-May) the youngest participants must be currently attending Kindergarten.

How much does it cost to participate?

The Missoula Children’s Theatre doesn’t charge an individual participation fee; however, the local Presenting Organization may require a participation fee for each child involved. Many presenters advertise the cost with their registration information. To find out if a fee is applicable in your community, please contact your local Presenting Organization.

What is the Presenting Organization?

The Presenting Organization is the party, individual, association, organization or company contracted and paying for the services of a one week residency with the Missoula Children’s Theatre. This can be a Performing Arts Center, Arts Council, PTA/PTO, school, theatre, individual, military installation, etc – the possibilities are endless.

Why can’t I find our community on your tour schedule?

This would be for one of two reasons; your community has not yet requested the services of the Missoula Children’s Theatre or we are scheduled to visit your community but we have not yet received the completed contract from the Presenting Organization. The online schedule is updated weekly.

How long are the auditions?

The auditions last two full hours. Each child who attends the audition will need to be present for the entire two hours.

Should the students prepare anything for auditions?

Our group audition is a 2-hour process at which all children who are interested in being cast must attend for the entire time. No preparation is needed. Our team of actor/directors will guide the children through the audition process with easy to follow instructions on basic movement, lines and song. At the end of the two-hour audition, the cast will be announced, and each cast member will receive a rehearsal schedule for the week. We rehearse a total of 4 ½ hours each day, two-2 hour sessions with a short snack break in-between. Although not all cast members are needed at every session, those auditioning must have a clear schedule for the entire week, and if selected, be able to attend all rehearsals required for their role.

My child can’t make the auditions - can they still be in the show?

If a child is not able to audition, unfortunately, they will not be able to participate in the show. The 2-hour audition is the time when the team is able to assess the abilities of the children auditioning, which in turn helps them to cast the child in the role that is just right for them.

When are rehearsals conducted?

The rehearsal schedule is set by the Presenting Organization within our guidelines. Rehearsals are 4 ½ hours each day and consist of two 2-hour blocks of time with a 15-30 minute snack break between the two sessions for those cast members involved in both sessions. It’s important to note that not all cast members are involved in every rehearsal session. Each child’s schedule for the week is dependent on the role in which they’re cast. Generally, during the school year tour, the majority of rehearsals take place after the school day is over, for example 3:30-8:00pm. However, some communities choose to have rehearsals during the school day. Generally during the summer months rehearsals take place during the day, for example 10am-2:30pm each day.

Who will be visiting our community?

A team of two adult, professional Actor/Directors will be visiting your community for the week. These individuals are typically college graduates with training in either education, theatre, musical theatre or a combination. During their week-long residencies throughout the continent and beyond, MCT Tour Actor/Directors serve as ambassadors for the arts; especially the theatre. They have the joy of directing and performing as well as the adventure of travel. Simply put, they have the opportunity and the privilege to change the lives of thousands of young people by carrying out MCT’s Mission.

Do your teams have background checks?

Yes. With our more than 37 years of touring internationally, visiting nearly 1,300 communities and working with 65,000 children annually we take our hiring practices very seriously. Each individual on our touring staff goes through an arduous process of interviews, reference checks, criminal background checks and fingerprinting – both background checks and fingerprinting are completed by a nationally recognized company. Just as we can assure that every child within our cast is safe with our staff, this same assurance is extended to the homestay families.

How long are the shows?

Each show is approximately 60-70 minutes in length – there is no intermission.

How much are tickets to the show?

The price for admission to the show is set by the local Presenting Organization. If you have questions, please contact your local Presenting organization directly.

What if my child isn’t cast in the show?

The quality of experience that we want each child to receive is one of our main reasons for limiting the number of children that can be in the show. While some towns may have fifteen children audition, others will have as many as 300 or more. With only one week and two directors there just isn’t enough time and manpower to accommodate such a situation. Over the last thirty seven years of touring, we have found there are a maximum number of children that two directors can teach well in one week. If more kids are added, at any age level, the directors become spread too thin and therefore are unable to give the appropriate amount of individual attention to the children to make each child’s personal experience safe, positive and successful.

Auditions are a subjective process and do not always seem fair. With many students auditioning for a limited number of roles, the decisions of the Tour Actor/Directors are not easy. This is admittedly the most difficult aspect of their job. How one reacts to disappointment is a tremendous test of character. Children will look to you as an example of how to react. Compliment them for their efforts and for taking a risk auditioning for the show.

What happens if my child gets sick during the week?

We understand that illness may occur during the week and the Tour Team will try their best to accommodate a missed rehearsal due to an illness. However, due to the short timeframe the cast has to prepare for the performance, if your child is out for more than one day it may be not be possible for them to still participate in the role that they were cast.

How much are show T-shirts?

The tour team will be selling show T-shirts during the week and the cost is $16.00 in the US and $19 in Canada. It is possible that the cost may vary depending on the Presenting Organization and any applicable commissions they may require.