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Children bring Johnny Appleseed to stage in Arlee

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ARLEE — A group actors from Arlee Elementary brought the fruitful story of Johnny Appleseed to life as they transformed the Arlee High School gymnasium stage into a frontier apple orchard Saturday evening during a Missoula Children’s Theater production. 

“With just a week of rehearsals, the kids did a wonderful job,” said piano accompanist Anne Stewart. “This is the first time for us that the whole cast was made up of only elementary students.” 

Rooted partly in folklore, partly in history, the play tells the story of pioneer John “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman and his buddies as they travel across the land on foot, make friends with many different people and animals and sleep under the twinkling stars. 

Their adventures yield a tasty reminder that kindness is at the core of every friendship.

Ahriah Fisher played the part of old Johnny Appleseed, while Walker Jones played the part of young Johnny Appleseed.

Deja-Nay Little Marry played the wolf, while the role of the bison was played by LilyAni Howard.

The kiddoes included Eneas Jep Inmee, Myles Davis, Lala Standing Rock, Andres (AJ) Cortez, Carnell Matt, Quincey Schlieker and Sophia Lliff.

Sir Peter Prescott was played by Kalani Rioux, while Hunter Bennett play Prescott’s sidekick Rupert. Lewis and Clark were played by Mason Bennett and Fallyn Madman. 

The rest of the Prescott clan was played by Naomi Fisher (Molly), Ella Knoll (Kelly), AnnaHaya Coulson (Rebecca) and Gracie Hayes (Sarah).

Pioneers were played by Jacob Pete, JaNae Martinez, Pryce Shaw, Jessica Arnold-Brown, Emma Lytle, Tyla Stafford, Bode Curtiss, MiMii LaRoche, Melanie Green and Jaxon Gladue.

Actors Montana Barnaby, Emilie Fisher, Abby Lytle, Josie Clinkerbeard, Lariah Claric and Braylee Haynes played the roles of the Fife and Drum Soldiers.

The critters included Logan Perry, Abbagail Allestad, Joshua Pete, Emma Felsman, Bianca O’Neill and Braxton Adams.

The apple seeds that stole the show were played by Kingston Shaw, Warrior Arnold-Brown, Madeline Espinoza-Creech, Pearl Brister, Willow Jones, Camille Mann, Boyd Smith, Caleb Sorenson, Ryan Baldwin, Isabella Whittecar and Colton Davis.

The play was directed by Elizabeth Domer and Joe Drummond. 

Drummond, who played “Grandma” in the play, helped the young actors by dropping an occasional cue in the dialogue and leading the cast in song.


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