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October 14, 2002

ARTS FOR YOUNG AMERICA PRODUCTION FEATURES LOCAL CHILDREN

LA CROSSE, Wis.— The Missoula Children’s Theatre is presenting an updated staging of Hansel and Gretel, featuring local children in some of the key roles, at the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Main Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 9.

Times are tough in this musical adaptation of an age-old tale of a journey, a secret, and a grand adventure, based on the original by the Brothers Grimm. Modern-day Hank and Gretchen find themselves deep in the wondrous Wildwood world of Hansel and Gretel. All of their friends, off to summer camp, have left them behind. Their mom, struggling alone to make ends meet, seems to have time for nothing but work. But one day, while waiting for a dinner prepared by their eccentric, but lovable Uncle Wally, Hank and Gretchen fall asleep and dream their way to times past. Their clothes are strange—and so are their names. There’s music, laughter, thrills, and chills as Hansel and Gretel, lost in the woods, search for the path that will lead them home. Hansel and Gretel’s dream is mysteriously blended with real life, and the lessons of one apply to the other.

Founded in 1970 by Jim Caron who still serves as executive director, the Missoula Children’s Theatre is a touring company that invites children in its host community to be the stars in the show. Its members teach children how to perfect the craft of professional theatre while building self-esteem through experience. Missoula Children’s Theatre’s mission is to provide quality educational, entertainment, and enrichment experiences through the performing arts.

Hansel and Gretel is part of Viterbo’s Arts for Young America program and is sponsored by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Wisconsin. It is supported, in part, by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.

Performance times are 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Ticket prices are $9 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under. For ticket information, contact the Box Office at 796- 3100.

For information on auditions, scheduled for Nov. 4, from 4-6 p.m. at the Viterbo Fine Arts Center, call Michael Ranscht or Jenny Roberdeau at 796- 3741.

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