Sisters Folk Festival Announces Theatre Arts Residency with the Missoula Children’s Theatre

Sisters Folk Festival is pleased to announce a theatre arts residency with the Missoula Children’s Theatre, April 9-14 open to all students in the Sisters School District.

An audition will be held for the Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT) production of THE WIZ OF THE WEST on Tuesday, April 10 at Sisters Middle School from 3:30-5:30pm. Those auditioning, kindergarten – 8th grade, should arrive at 3:15 and plan to stay for the full two hours. Some of the cast members will be asked to stay for a rehearsal immediately following the audition.

Missoula Children’s Theatre touring productions are complete with costumes, scenery, props and makeup. The MCT tour actors & directors will conduct rehearsals throughout the week from 3:15 pm to 7:30 pm each day. Among the roles to be cast are Dotty, Mooch, Scared Crow, Lionel, Tinhorn, Hawknose Halley, Dr. Ozzy, Top Dog, Mad Dog, Bad Dog, Coyotes, Munch Kin, Buzzards, and Tarantulas. Students grades K-8 are encouraged to audition. No advance preparation is necessary. Assistant directors will also be cast to aid in rehearsals throughout the week and to take on essential backstage responsibilities. The show is a down-home, country telling of every cowpoke’s favorite yarn… Aw, Auntie Em, there’s no place like home on the range. THE WIZ OF THE WEST — a fairy tale with a twang.

The two principal actors from Missoula Children’s Theatre bring a wealth of experience and professional theatre background. Samantha Hayes is excited to keep on “trucking” with the Missoula Children’s Theatre. A native of Terre Haute, IN, she earned her BFA in musical theatre from Missouri State University. Credits include: “Long John Silver/Director” in Treasure Island; “Fox/Director” in Pinocchio; “Suzette” in Dogfight; and “Angel City Four Alto” in City of Angels. Her first role, however, was “Spectator 1” in a summer-camp production of Charlotte’s Web, so you never know how a summer camp will change your life! Cody D Schmitt is excited to continue touring with the Missoula Children’s Theatre, after touring Rumpelstiltskin all last year. He attended the University of Northern Colorado with studies in vocal performance, theatre and dance. Favorite show credits include: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as “Barfee”; Forever Plaid as “Smudge”; and Urinetown as “Mr. McQueen.”

Sisters Middle school coordinator, teacher Lindsay Burden, toured professionally and is an advocate for theatre arts, and plans to help start a theatre program next year at SMS. Burden says: “Performing in a live theatre production is an incredible way for kids to learn to express themselves as confident individuals. In a world where kids are often bombarded by the message that “they must be perfect,” theatre embraces mistakes, the imperfections, and the quirks… Working through the process of putting together a show is one of the most rewarding experiences a young person can have. Just look at the light in the eyes of a young performer at the final curtain call for the proof.”

THE WIZ OF THE WEST will be presented on Saturday, April 14 at 5:30 pm at the Sisters High School auditorium. Tickets for the show will be available at the door. There is a suggested donation of $5 per person or $10 per family. The Missoula Children’s Theatre residency is presented locally by Sisters Folk Festival as part of the Studio to School grant initiative of the Oregon Community Foundation. Studio to School is a five-year music and arts education collaboration between Sisters Folk Festival and the Sisters School District.
For more information on the Theatre Arts Residency with the Missoula Children’s Theatre at the schools, email Lindsay Burden at or contact Brad Tisdel at 541-408-0200, or

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