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Spoiler alert: parrot eats part of treasure map during play

ARLEE – Rather than going it alone, a gang of silly pirates banded together last weekend to decipher a tattered treasure map and locate hidden riches.

The Arlee High School stage was full of said pirates on Saturday evening during a recent Missoula Children’s Theatre performance of Treasure Island.

Fifty students from kindergarten to high school rehearsed after school for a week before the performance to learn their lines. Then students took to the stage to share their play with the community. 

In MCT’s adaptation of Treasure Island, a “mischievous lad” called Jim lives with his family in a seaside village on the coast of Maine in the year 1782. Dalton Marks, 16, played the leading character that becomes fascinated with the pirate Long John Silver and ends up sailing away on an adventure to find treasure. The group fights with other characters for the treasure map until the they realize there is a better way to get the loot. 

“The moral of this story is to work together,” Dalton said. 

It was also noted during the play that it would be a good idea to feed the crew so they don’t eat things like the corner of the treasure map as the parrot did, although everyone worked together to figure out the location of the treasure. 

Marks started his acting debut with MCT when he was in kindergarten or maybe first grade as a cowboy seahorse. He worked up to playing a dust bunny in later years until he got his first big role as the Red Knight in King Arthur’s Quest, but his favorite part so far was as the wizard in The Wizard of Oz. 

For many years, Dalton was able to share the stage in Arlee with his brother Darren Marks who is currently in college working on an acting degree due in part to his experience with MCT. 

“We don’t have a lot of acting programs here and this is a good way to get the kids into acting,” he said. MCT has traveled to small towns for the past 45 years to give kids a chance to experience the stage.  

Marks plans to continue trying out for part with MCT in the next two years before graduation. He is grateful for the opportunity try out his acting skills and learn something new. 

“This is a chance to show the world what you can do,” he said. 

He said his brother, Darren, was in the audience watching the show this year and he gave the show his approval. “He said it was a good show,” Marks said. 

The cast features Dalton Marks as Jim Hawkins. The pirates were played by Noah Coulson,

Bridger Smith, Lendynn Lucy, Madisyn Hanken, Michaela Buck, Mila Baldwin,

and Elina Moore. Aurora O’Neill played Cap’n Flint, and Josie Moulding was Mother Hawkins.

Jim’s six sisters were played by Mandy Couture, Madison LaHaye, Maddi Yocum, Adalyn Jacobson, Xaria Jacobson, and Raven Parson. The ruffians were Saisha North-Peigan, Kaiden Ostby, Caydan Clark, Kade Dunning, Drew Knoll, and Jazlyn Jacobson. 

The cuddly seagulls were played by Tyler Conover, Hazel Pablo, Taio McLinden, Callen Ostby, Malia StandingRock, Ahriah Fisher, Ezra Brazill, Anna Haya Coulson, Shy Thomas, Alyssa Burke, Ella Knoll, Jarrod Burke, and Jackson Curtiss. 

The seacoast villagers were Tony LaHaye, Bodhi McLinden, Brody Smith, Paige Johnson, Aaliyah Jackson-Whiteman, Eli O’Neill, Moses Curtiss, Juaquin Santos, Kobe Espinoza, JJ Barnaby, Aaliyah Tucker, Lilyani Howard-Hendren, Saiawna Stasso, Aleah Sherwood, Bailey Smith, Feather StandingRock, and Amy Couture.  

Amira Charlie, Natalee Coulson, Mylie Wheeler, and Star Mahseelah served as assistant directors. Anne Stewart played the piano for the show, and the two MCT actors were Eric Rhodes and Emily Dwornik.





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