Last week three of my children participated in a fun-filled, energetic theatre production of “The Wizard of Oz” sponsored by Goodhue County 4-H.  Missoula Children’s Theatre directors travel throughout the United States and work with schools and local organizations performing children’s stories.  In one week the children audition, learn their given character parts, and perform two shows.  It’s a whirlwind week of highs and lows that the kids really look forward to.

Monday began with auditions and the news that not every 4-Her who signed up would get a part in the play.  This is the first year that there were too many actors and not enough parts.  Auditions only last about 1 1/2 hours and culminate with the announcement of which actors will receive which parts. I nervously watched and listened as each of my children’s names were called and they walked up front to receive their parts.

Kenny got the part of a flying winkie.  Basically equivalent to a flying monkey in the real story.  Max would be a munchkin along with many of his 6th grade friends.  Finally, Maddie received the part of Glinda, the Good Witch of the North.  Maddie is rarely found without a joyful smile, so this part seemed fitting for her.  Maddie high-fived the girl who received the part of the Wicked Witch and both were thoroughly thrilled with their given characters.

Along with the 4-Hers who were excited about their role in the play, their were also 4-Hers who cried because they did not receive a role or received a part that they deemed less than desirable.  This was just the beginning of the emotional roller coaster that Missoula Week becomes.

Tuesday, the kids began to get familiar with their characters as the evening practice flew by.  On Wednesday, the songs from the play were learned and repeated over and over and over again.  My kids sang the songs on the way home from practice that evening and gave me a glimpse of the play.  By Thursday, the excitement had worn off and the long hours of practice had started to wear on the kids.  Luckily, Friday was a no school day for Goodhue, and the kids got to sleep in. 

And then Saturday arrived.  This was the day the costumes were unveiled and the dress rehearsal was performed.  At 2:00pm the kids had their first performance followed by our traditional supper at Liberties.  Finally, they had their last performance at 7:00pm.  The 4-Hers were exhilarated, and a little sad, as they autographed each others shirts and munched on cookies after the show.  It was such a fulfilling week!  I wonder what play they will do next year?

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