Youth Arts program on a mission to bring Missoula to Grant

The Youth Arts program is seeking donations to bring the Missoula Children’s Theatre to Grant in March.

The group’s President, Gertty Wyatt, noticed the Missoula group was going to other nearby areas, but the kids in Grant didn’t have an opportunity to participate without having to travel each day.

Wyatt then considered that this area does not have many arts activities, and thought it would be nice to provide an opportunity for local children to participate in arts.

“I thought about how this area does not have a lot of arts activities for kids,” Wyatt said. “I thought it would be nice to do something for the kids with arts and there weren’t other groups who did that or were willing to take that on.”

She contacted the now Vice President and Secretary, Kristin Chamness as well as committee members Monica Poppe and Toni Wyatt, and they formed the Youth Arts program together.

Chamness was particularly excited about this opportunity because she had considered traveling to Ogallala for her kids to participate in the Missoula Children’s Theatre.

With Wyatt’s suggestion, there was no need to travel since the group could come to Grant.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre consists of two directors and various teams who travel across the country helping kids put on a show for their communities.

Each team travels to a designated location and spends a week auditioning and rehearsing a show. This year they have been touring “The Snow Queen.”

Auditions begin on Monday and the cast of 50 to 60 students spends the rest of the week rehearsing their new roles.

They also put on workshops for the kids where they teach about stage makeup, comedic acting, dramatic acting and more.

This helps teach children what goes into putting on a production.

The workshops are available for every student, ages Kindergarten through 12th grade, and those who don’t try out or get a part are welcome to participate.

Auditions will begin March 2, and the play is scheduled for March 7. There will be showings at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The Youth Arts program is currently raising money to cover the cost of bringing the Missoula Children’s Theatre to town. It costs $4,500 to bring the group to Grant, and so far the program has raised around $1,000.

The Missoula group must be paid in full a week after they leave town.

“If we need to use the ticket sales, we can,” said Wyatt. “But we are hoping to get all the money we need for this year so we can use the ticket sales money and book the group again next year.”

Wyatt hopes this can become an annual activity for the children.


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