Young thespians take to stage

Published 6:46 am Wednesday, February 14, 2007

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
There were monkeys in soup and pandas in spandex as about 50 children were cast Monday as dancing seahorses, sea scouts and mer-people.
And in less than one week, those children are scheduled to perform &#8220The Little Mermaid” as part of the Brewton Council of the Arts' 2007 season.
The Missoula Children's Theater, a traveling theater group that brings the costumes, sets and scripts to sponsoring communities, cast the show after two hours of auditions Monday afternoon.
Because the show must come together in only a week, children are required to commit their time to rehearsals - which last from 3:30 to 8 p.m. each day this week.
Tolbert, who has been working with the children's productions for the past four years, will perform several roles in the musical. Chris Harbur, also of Missoula Children's Theater, will direct.
Tolbert and Harbur quickly divided the 70 auditioning children into groups by age and led them through lines and songs to sort out which roles suited which children best.
Tolbert and Harbur kept control giving the children simple rules to follow. One of those required them to shout &#8220Panda!” and stop talking when either of their adult leaders said, &#8220Spandex.”
By 5:45 p.m., the cast was set, with Victoria Creamer as the littlest mermaid Celia and a host of other children playing the various other roles.
Tolbert and Harbur reminded the children that not getting a part didn't mean they weren't good enough.
Tickets will be available at the door and are $5 for students and $10 for adults. Pre-school children will be admitted for free.

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