Ketochi photo by Ashley Tait
The Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT) was founded in 1970 and now shares its magic with children in all 50 United States, five Canadian provinces, and 16 countries.
On Saturday, April 28, Cascade students from kindergarten through sixth grade participated in the MCT production of Robin Hood. The MCT directors held auditions on Monday, April 23 and worked with the students for only five days to prepare the production. The play brought to life memorable characters such as Prince John, Maid Marian, Marian’s Maid, the Sheriff of Nottingham, and, of course, Robin Hood.
Sixth-grade students Kade Gottlob, Braedyn Johnson, and Karissa Riphenburg portrayed Robin Hood, Maid Marian, and Marian’s Maid, respectively. Fifth-grader Trennen Tait performed the role of Prince John, and fourth-grader Conner Mann played the Sheriff of Nottingham. Since MCT visits Cascade every two years, this was the final opportunity for all fifth and sixth graders to perform.
Cascade elementary principal Siobhan Hathhorn worked with the local PTA to help bring this production to Cascade. Hathhorn believes “the play was a great experience for Cascade’s students.” Because of MCT, students who otherwise would have no exposure to the theatre are able to gain a valuable performance experience and kindle the performing-arts fire within them.
When the Missoula Children’s Theatre comes to Cascade, it brings with it well trained and experienced actors who can teach the children what it is like to be an actor in the theatre.
“Missoula Children’s Theatre is great for the community because of its great turnout every year it comes, the way those in the community look forward to the productions, and the way it is enjoyed by the viewers and the actors alike,” said Hathhorn.
The productions can also be seen as a learning experience for the students. Learning the lines helps the student’s brain development and language skills. Additionally, it helps the students develop a sense of self-confidence by going on stage and playing a role in front of an audience.
Cascade fifth grader Trennen Tait took the part of Prince John in the production. Through his participation, he learned that when acting in a theatrical production you need to use an excited voice. When asked what he felt about taking part in the play Trennen said “I think it was a good experience because it was fun to be in the play, and it was funny, so I liked it, and I hope they will extend what grades you may do it in so that because I want to do it more”.
Cascade sixth grader Kade Gottlob played the lead role of Robin Hood in the production. Through his participation, he believes he didn’t learn anything new, but he says that reading the lines has improved his reading skills. When asked how participating in the production made him feel Kade replied “It felt really good. I got a lead role, and it was my last year participating. I did the best I could and remembered as many lines as I could. It was a fun time”.
Braedyn Johnson played the role of Maid Marion in the recent production. By participating in the play she learned to cooperate with those you are working with so that the production will run smoothly. When asked how participating in the play felt to her Braedyn replied: “I am upset that it was the last time, but am glad that I got a good part, and I had fun”.
Karissa Riphenburg took the role of Marrion’s Maid in the production. Through her participation, she learned to work with her fellow actors and the directors. When asked how the experience felt to her Karissa said: “It was fun, and you got to hang out with friends and make people laugh, and enjoy it”.