If treasure was what you were looking for on Saturday June 21, and you happened to purchase a ticket for the Missoula Children’s Theatre and Mesquite Arts Council’s presentation of Blackbeard the Pirate at the Mesquite Community Theatre, then it was treasure you found.
Once again the children of Mesquite showed the audience that great things can happen in just a short period of time when they presented an hour long show complete with dialogue, choreography and a plethora of songs in just 5 short days.
MCT has been in existence for 40 years and through it’s international tours has fostered developmental life skills in more than one million children. In one year alone the various tour directors of the MCT will work with 65,000 children in more than 1,200 communities in all 50 states and in 17 countries.
This year the 44 children of Mesquite were in the hands of tour directors Benjamin Harris and Daniel Boughton who cast the show on Monday June, 16, and with the help of student/assistant directors Elayna Browning and Johnathan Corral, taught the children a number of songs, dances and dialogue by Friday which really boiled down to about 25 hours of rehearsal time.
If that doesn’t seem impressive enough, to put things in perspective, the adult community theatre group rehearses approximately five days a week, three hours a day, for six weeks to put on a 90 minute play without music.
The short rehearsal schedule didn’t hinder the children’s performance one bit according to audience member Patty Amore who said, “They did a wonderful job, they’re so cute especially those little seaweed creatures, I wanted to clap for them every time they came out but there wasn’t ever really an appropriate time…but I clapped anyway.”
Laughter, Oohs and Aahs were abundant from the full house during the matinee performance which made it quite apparent that the Children of Mesquite, once again, wowed the audience with tales of adventure.
This year the audience was transported to a far-away island where some pirates, beach bums, clams, crocs, mermaids, seaweed creatures, parrots, crabs and sailors found their treasure. As the tale of Blackbeard the Pirate unfolded the audience also found their treasure, not in the clam shell as the tale told, but in the hearts and imaginations of the children of Mesquite.