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Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs Come To Town

By Kathy Kahler
The Nebraska Signal

The Geneva Arts Council sponsors the Missoula Children's Theatre which comes one week during the summer. Children from all over Fillmore County try out for the play the theatre puts on. This year, 53 students tried out and 53 students got parts in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs which was put on twice on July 21.
There is a significant cost in putting on the plays that come into Geneva. In order to do something like putting on these plays, you have to have the backing from the Arts Council, said Sheila Lauby.
This is the second consecutive year the Geneva Arts Council and the Missoula Children's Theatre have teamed up together to put on a show. Prior to this, the GAC and the MCT had done this one other time, according to Lauby, a volunteer for the children's theatre and Fillmore Central employee.  
Last year, Peter and Wendy was performed and it received a lot of feed back from the community, which made it easier to decide to bring the MCT back. Jodie Meyer and Lauby are both involved with the Arts at Fillmore Central High School and both are volunteers helping with the MCT plays.
The Missoula Children's Theatre is based out of Montana and they travel throughout the United States putting on the same play in different towns throughout the summer. The MCT truck gets to town Sunday night, auditions happen Monday morning, practice is done all week long, they put on two shows on Saturday and by Sunday they are off to their next town.  
During the week of the play, children show up each morning and practice into the afternoons. The Geneva Rec. Center, local churches and the theatre are used for rehearsing. There are workshops done during the week after rehearsal which teach movement, impromptus and different theatre skills. The purpose of the workshops is confidence builders, getting comfortable within themselves. These workshops are optional and the kids have so much fun during this time.
The children get the instructions from the clinicians, the MCT staff. The clinicians are with the kids all week learning lines, facial expression, moves. The two this year were Allie Nichols and Gustavo Brito, both college students studying Theatre. Margaret and Ray Nichols have been the host family for the MCT clinicians.
 "This is a great opportunity for our kids," Meyer said. "There are so many chances to play ball or go to athletic camps or be a part of a sport team. There is not a lot of opportunity for our kids to get those same opportunities in the arts, so I think Missoula coming to town is a great opportunity to try something different."
The plays give the kids confidence within themselves, which they may never have had without the opportunity of being part of these plays. They don't just act, they sing as well.
Both Lauby and Meyer express that the MCT experience is a great way to break up the everyday activities children do during the summer. They're active, involved, engaged and they are doing something completely different that nobody else is offering them during the summer.