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Missoula Children’s Theater returns to town next week

The Pahrump Arts Council is seeking young, would-be actors and actresses to participate in the Missoula Children’s Theater’s production of “Sleeping Beauty.”

The performing arts company returns to Pahrump this month for a week-long residency.

Auditions for the production are scheduled for Monday, Jan. 18, inside the Pahrump Valley High School auditorium at 1 p.m., with the actual performances beginning next Saturday.

PAC President Loretta Lindell said all area students are welcome to come.

“Any student in the attendance area is eligible to audition, which includes kindergarten through the 12th grade,” she said. “That includes private school or homeschool. We encourage everyone to give it a go because it is a lot of fun, and there’s no experience necessary.”

Two directors from the Missoula Children’s Theatre will arrive in Pahrump to oversee the auditions.

Lindell said both are great in motivating the cast to give their best performance.

“They are excellent at getting the kids to bring forward their best as far as the auditions are concerned, and it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “The plays are based on children’s stories, and the Missoula Children’s Theatre always puts a little twist on the play with a lot of humor and music. There’s all kinds of singing and dancing for the musical productions.”

Lindell noted the Missoula Children’s Theater began in the early 1970’s in Montana.

Beginning in late 1990’s, the troupe has made regular stops in Pahrump while touring.

Over the years they’ve visited the community on more than 10 occasions.

“They returned each year if we scheduled them, and of course, it’s always about the money unfortunately,” Lindell said. “There is a residency fee and we have to provide lodging for the two directors, so there are a considerable number of expenses that go along with this.”

To cover those expenses, the Pahrump Arts Council relies heavily on grants, like the one they received in September.

“This year we have a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for our program overall,” she said. “A portion of that money will go to help us pay for the theater production. We are also very fortunate to get a grant from the Nevada Arts Council, specifically for the Missoula Children’s Theatre this year.”

Lindell also said the program is so popular in town, she routinely gets questions from many in the community wanting to know when the group will return.

“It is such a successful program and the kids look forward to it every year they come here. We have parents and kids asking when they are going to come back out. We would like to have them out here twice a year if possible, but it takes the money and it takes willingness and a lot of time and effort to round up the money or get a grant or even solicit donations.”

There are two performances scheduled the Saturday following the auditions at Pahrump Valley High.

“It will be Saturday, January 23rd,” she said. “There will be one at 2 p.m. and one at 5 p.m. All of the money will go to help defray the costs associated with the production. The donation we are asking for is $3 for kids and $5 for adults. We also offer a $20 family pack where the whole family can come and enjoy both performances for that.”

Aside from the musical production, the Pahrump Arts Council provides numerous art-related projects for the community, included various media art classes for seniors, children and those in between.

Lindell said participants can take the classes at any time.

The council recently wrapped up part one of its nature art journaling class, which will continue next month.

“Initially, it was geared to certain age groups like kindergarten through second grade and those children would have a certain kind of activity for their skill levels,” she said. Actually, any child can sign up for any class. The next class coming up is fabric necklaces, which is a fiber arts class. The kids will learn how to make a necklace and it should be a lot of fun. The youth art classes will be continuing so we are taking registrations again. You can go online and sign up at www.pvpac.org.”

PAC recently welcomed a new treasurer and director into its fold and is now enjoying a new office, Lindell said.

“We have a new treasurer, Becky Calkins, and of course the treasurer’s position is always very important for us,” she said. “We also have a new location about eight feet from our previous location in the Cahlan West Professional Center at 2340 E Calvada Blvd. It’s all working very well and it gives us a nice amount of visibility.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com.

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