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Kids push through cold weather for annual Missoula Children’s Theatre play



Colstrip, Montana – Montana children never give up, even in the face of terrible cold and obstacles around them, especially when a unique chance is at stake.

That was the case in Colstrip last Tuesday when despite two days of school cancellations brought on by extremely low temperatures, roughly fifty children showed out to audition for the yearly Missoula Children’s Theatre play held in Colstrip.

“These kids look forward to this all year long so they were bound and determined to be here,” said Earline Roseander, the MCT Community Coordinator for Colstrip.

Due to extremely low temperatures last Monday, Colstrip schools were canceled. On last Tuesday, the high school’s sprinkler system ruptured and there were electrical problems.

Owing to the closures, the MCT production of “Treasure Island” required rescheduling and moving of the auditions.

“With the cold weather it is fine, it wasn’t until this week when we have school closing that we had to adjust our schedule and make changes that way,” said Fiona Lazzari.

This spring and summer, Lazzari and Andrew Mozingo, two tour actors and directors with Missoula Children’s Theatre, will travel together to perform in plays in local schools in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Washington.

Following Colstrip, the two will go to Greybull, Wyoming.

“On Monday we cast all the kids in it and by Friday or Saturday, we put on the show and it is an hour-long musical with a full cast of characters, with singing and dancing, and that’s what we do every week,” Lazzari said.

For almost three decades, MCT has been presenting touring musicals in schools in all fifty states as well as seventeen other countries.

Throughout its current winter-spring season, MCT is sending out multiple teams, including the one led by Lazzari and Mozingo.

MCT’s recognizable red trucks arrived at Colstrip this week, loaded down with sets, scripts, costumes, and other props.

“The theatre is something that kids growing up in Eastern Montana would never experience if we didn’t bring it here,” said Roseander, who along with coordinating MCT plays, taught in the Colstrip school district for more than 30 years.

It’s an uncommon opportunity for Colstrip students to pursue a career in show business.

“I just really want to be an actor when I grow up, so I’m auditioning for this play,” said Pinebutte Elementary School fifth-grade student Logan Skilles.

Treasure Island has space for up to 64 child roles, thus every child who applied to Colstrip this year will be cast.






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