Missoula Children’s Theatre brings ‘The Secret Garden’ to local kids

GAZETTE PHOTO / Theresa Davis

Students unveil “The Secret Garden” in the April 12 evening performance at Kemmerer Junior Senior High School. The cast spent a week rehearsing lines and musical numbers in preparation for two performances on Friday.

Kemmerer students put on quite the show on Friday, April 12, with two music-filled performances of “The Secret Garden.” The shows followed a week of rehearsals and theater education provided by Missoula Children’s Theatre directors Chance Carter and Staci Weidner. Local students Kaylee Miller and Heather Hall were assistant directors for the production, and Deb Archibald was the accompanist.

Missoula Children’s Theatre has worked with thousands of children worldwide since 1998. Carter and Weidner arrived in Kemmerer early last week in a red F-150 loaded with a set, costumes and props. All they needed was the cast, and after auditions, nearly 60 local students were ready to spend a week learning lines and musical numbers.

“We’ve loved working with your children this week,” Weidner told the audience after the show. “We’ve had so much fun.”

Jane Erickson played the main character Mary Lennox, who arrives in England from India with a bad attitude. With some help from the local people and forest creatures, Mary learns to appreciate the world around her every day. She teaches cousin Colin Craven (played by Zach Seiler) to do the same. Students entertained the crowd with their roles as “Bugs that Rock,” Canadian geese, forest animals, fireflies, and of course, the flowers of the Secret Garden. For more photos from Friday night’s performance, visit kemmerergazette.com.

Fireflies sing on stage in “The Secret Garden,” on Friday, April 12. Missoula Children’s Theatre provided the directors, set and costume for the local performance. The group of fireflies included Kemmerer students Rachel Clark, Kinsey Piippo, Wrenlynn Byers, Denna Slater, Dominic Pope, Emileen Dearden, Christian Pope, Zoey Holwuttle and Austin Stiles.

Eli and Jane Erickson (as Dickon Sowerby and Mary Lennox) sing during Friday’s performance of “The Secret Garden.”