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Arlee students perform Snow White

ARLEE–The frenzy of producing a full-length play in less than a week has retained its magic in the 40 years since the first Missoula Children’s Theater production in Arlee.

On Saturday, a high-energy crowd of 60 children from kindergarten to 12th grade transformed into woodland creatures, evil henchmen and royalty. The group put on costumes and practiced their lines behind the curtain of the stage in the Arlee gym. On the other side of the curtain, an audience of more than 200 waited for the performance to start. 

The Arlee School District provided housing for the MCT actor and director who led the production. Arlee also furnished rehearsal and performance space and publicity for the event. Local pianist Anne Stewart contributed accompaniment for the show. MCT provided equipment, costumes and professional leadership for the production. The Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation and Blackfoot provided financial support for the production.

Andrea Brister, Arlee’s MCT coordinator and third grade teacher, said the show is an asset to the Arlee community.

“We get to bring the arts and culture to a community that would not be able to have a production of this kind otherwise,” she said. 

Sixth grader Caydan Clark, who played Snow White’s friend Phineas, said that he learned about more than acting through his experience with the play. “Commitment is everything in life,” he said. “You want to be an actor? Start out small with plays and through commitment you can work your way up to being in movies.”

Fifth grader Enola Belcourt-Weaver, who played Foxy, said: “I thought being in a play might help me with teamwork.” She said she enjoyed getting to know the other cast members outside of school.

The play marked the culmination of a week of growth and hard work. “I don’t know whether to be nervous or excited,” Belcourt-Weaver said. “Anything could happen.”

The local cast features Mandy Couture as Snow White. Caydan Clark, Enola Belcourt-Weaver and Moses Curtiss were cast as her friends. Noah Coulson was the king. 

Amelia Lamont was the queen. Dalton Marks and Damyen Coates were the queen’s henchmen. Xavier Coates was her magic mirror. Madisyn Hanken, Lendynn Ranstrom, Saisha North Piegan, Aleah Sherwood, Amy Couture, Jazlyn Jacobson and Amira Charlie were cast as dwarfs.  

To complete the ensemble, Aaliyah Jackson-Whiteman, Jaydessa Barnaby, Kobe Espinoza, Juaquin Santos, Harli Kinney, K’leigha Young, Raven Parson, Xaria Jacobson, Adalyn Jacobson and Shyla Quinan appeared as Black Forest Creatures.

Lala Standing Rock, Ember Moon Weaver-Ashley, Kayci Madman, Myles Davis, Alyssa Burke, Aarinnario North Piegan, Quincey Quinlan, Carnell Matt, Shy Thomas, Ella Knoll, Dezalynn Lindquist, Ahriah Fisher and Caleb Clark were bats. 

LilyAni Howard, Ava Clark, Lilybelle Buffalo, Naomi Fisher, Levi Conover, Bailey Smith, Brody Smith, Morgan Pablo, Brooklyn Brown, Deja Nay Little Mary, Paige Johnston, Hazel Pablo, Payten Johnston, Aurora O’Neill, Valencia Charlo, AhLeeSha Tromp, Saiawna Stasso and Tyler Conover played a variety of fun forest animals. 

Starr Mahseelah and Natalee Coulson served as assistant directors throughout the week.


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