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‘Missoula’ auditions Monday afternoon

Kids in Covington County have the chance to shine on the stage next week as the Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT) visits Andalusia once again.

The traveling theater group, based out of Missoula, Mont., visits towns around the nation and gives kids the chance to audition, rehearse for, and then perform in a full stage musical — all in the span of a single week. The Covington Arts Council welcomes all budding young thespians to try out for “The Pied Piper” Monday at 3:15 p.m. at the LBWCC Dixon Center.

“Anytime a child is on stage, you can tell it does wonders for their self-esteem,” CAC executive director Paula Harr said. “For children who may not play a sport or dance, this is a wonderful opportunity for them to get up on stage and show off their talents.”

Harr said there would be parts for first graders through 12th graders this year, and kids who elect to participate would need to attend rehearsal each day.

“The Missoula character-actors do a great job of running everything and keeping everyone organized,” she said. “It’s really impressive for the kids, because even with the rehearsals and everything, they still find time to get their homework and other responsibilities done. I even had one parent who told me that her child had never been as organized as she was during the week Missoula was in town.”

A public performance of the show will be Friday at 7 p.m. at the Dixon Center. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

“It’s really a great night and a fun show, whether you have a child in the play or not,” Harr said. “The kids put this all together in a very short amount of time and they work hard at it, so they can be really proud of themselves.”

Merelee Robinson, a 2004 graduate of Andalusia High School, is employed with MCT, but will not be among those putting on Andalusia’s show this year.

Southeast Alabama Gas District is the corporate sponsor for the show, and the Andalusia Junior Women’s Club and Andalusia Coterie Club also contribute to the event’s success.