Children at the Naval Air Station Jacksonville Youth Activities Center (YAC) recently participated in the production of a Missoula Children’s Theater show. This year’s show, Robin Hood, featured 48 kids who attend the Summer Camp program at YAC.
“For military children moving from base-to-base, one commonality is that Missoula holds these productions at pretty much every base,” said Noel Morrison, Missoula actor and director.
“I was a Navy kid myself and remember seeing these productions at bases when I was growing up.”
Morrison, along with her husband Bowen, travels weekly to different bases with a truck loaded with backdrops and costumes for the show. In less than a week, tryouts take place, lines and songs are learned and at the end of the week, a show is performed for parents.
“This is a huge accomplishment that is achieved in a short amount of time and our main goal is that everyone has fun,” said Morrison.
The main actors spend around four hours a day learning their lines and are sent home with a script. Additionally, during the day, seven songs are rehearsed. For Kyla Ware, who plays the Nottingham sheriff, even though this is her first show, she is prepared.
“I decided to try out for the show because I like to experience new things and I’m not nervous at all,” said Kyla Ware. “Every night, my mom has been working with me to help learn my lines.”
This particular show, which has a lot of humor, has a surprise twist at the end and some of the littlest participants will play a big role.
“Children ages 5-7 will be skunks and they actually save the day,” said Morrison.
According to staff at YAC, the show is something they look forward to every year.
“The kids learn so much during this week from public speaking to working together as a team,” said Chadwick Wells, YAC assistant director.
“Our children are getting the full theater experience thanks to Missoula.”