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60 perform in Henderson production

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Steve Burger
/
WNIN

One of the performances in Henderson last weekend was not on the W.C. Handy stage.  Sixty young actors, singers and dancers took the stage at South Middle School Saturday for a performance of The Jungle Book. What’s unusual about this performance is that they staged the play with four and half days of practice.

Some of the lines still needed work when we visited practice Wednesday, but not bad for parts the actors just landed on….Monday. The Missoula Chidren's Theater productions are staged with a week's practice. Henderson Fine Arts Alliance executive director Greg Gibson says,

“It’s two adult professional actors working with the kids so that child-adult ratio is thirty to one. But they’re doing an outstanding job. It’s amazing what these kids do in five days for a show, complete with makeup, costumes, learning 15 songs and some pretty extensive and involved lines for the lead roles.”

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Credit Steve Burger / WNIN
/
WNIN

Let’s meet a couple of those actors. Jackson Gaines is in his third MCT production. This time, he’s playing Riki Tiki Tavi. “He’s a good guy, but I have to fight the snake when it wants to attack Mowgli.” So, what preparation did you do? “I looked up what a mongoose looked like, and how they act, so I would be prepared for how they act.”

Landry O’nan is a veteran of, in her words, at least six, MCT productions. “I play Hathi the elephant. I go around telling everyone I’m strong, that I’m the master of the jungle.”