Missoula Children's Theatre
MCT 2019 Pinocchio
The 2019 Fall MCT production is Pinocchio

MCT is back! The Fine Arts Center has hosted MCT for over twenty years, and interest in the program keeps growing. This is your chance to experience the fun and excitement of MCT and their production of PinocchioEach season, Missoula Children's Theatre production is a part of the Viterbo Fine Arts Center's Arts for Young America Family Series.

Show Synopsis

Geppetto fashioned the puppet in the image of a small boy. Even as the lonely and kind woodcarver worked far into the night, old Geppetto was not aware that the wood under the chisel had come from the trunk of an enchanted tree. But the Blue Fairy was aware, as she watched from afar and gave to that puppet the gift of life. Thus, begins the Missoula Children's Theatre adaptation of one of the most beloved of all children’s stories–PINOCCHIO. Join our wooden-head as he dances with Geppetto’s charming toys, travels the road to Pleasure Isle with Candlewick and his Crew, and is swindled by the unsavory Fox and Cat. After escaping the clutches of the evil puppet master, Stromboli, Pinocchio finds himself in trouble once more–this time swallowed by a monstrous whale. Very scary stuff! As Geppetto and the friendly Urchins spin their magical tale, we learn with Pinocchio that there are no shortcuts on the road to becoming a real, live boy.

Conceived and Written by Jim Caron

Music and Lyrics by Michael McGill and Jim Caron


Audition Information

Auditions will be held on Monday, October 28 from 3:45-6 pm at the Viterbo Fine Arts Center. There are numerous roles available for young people of all ages, kindergarten through twelfth grade. (Note: Children who audition must be 5 years of age or older). Approximately 50-60 local children will be cast to appear in the show with the MCT Tour Actor/Directors.  Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that everyone who auditions will be cast in the play.

To audition for Pinocchio, you should arrive at the Viterbo Fine Arts Center by 3:45 pm to allow for registration.  Students should plan to stay the entire two-hour and fifteen minute session. No advance preparation for this audition is necessary. There is no charge for participation in this MCT residency.

Tentative Rehearsal Schedule for Those Who are Cast
Monday, October 28 6:30-8:30 pm
Tuesday, October 29 4-6 pm; break; 6:30-8:30 pm
Wednesday, October 30 4-6 pm; break; 6:30-8:30 pm
Thursday, October 31 No Rehearsal
Friday, November 1 4-6 pm; break; 6:30-8:30 pm
Saturday, November 2 Morning rehearsal; 1 pm and 4 pm performances

Although not all cast members will be needed at every rehearsal session, those auditioning must have a clear schedule for the entire week and be able to attend all rehearsals for their role. 

* Schedule subject to change.

We know you will gain wonderful experiences by participating in this production.  If you or your parents have questions about Missoula Children’s Theatre’s La Crosse residency, please contact us at boxoffice@viterbo.edu or 608-796-3737.

History of Missoula Children's Theatre (MCT)

It was the summer of 1970. Jim Caron, unemployed and searching for a mission in life, was on his way from Chicago to a friend's wedding in Oregon when his aging Volkswagen van broke down. The nearest service station was—fortunately and fatefully—in Missoula, Mont. While waiting for the van to be patched together, Jim noticed an audition poster for Man of La Mancha. Just for fun, he auditioned and was cast in the role of Sancho. An instant and lasting friendship was developed with Don Collins, the actor playing Don Quixote. Along with Don, MCT's current senior development office, Jim organized a company of adults who did plays for children on a make-shift stage in a local movie theatre. The plays—as well as the idea of developing live theatre for kids—were well received in Missoula, and soon nearby Montana and Idaho communities requested performances of their own.

During this time period (the early ’70s) the company began to use kids as cast members when it seemed appropriate—Hansel and Gretel, the Dwarfs in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, etc. In 1972, when February performances of Snow White were booked into Miles City, a small Montana community located an icy 500 miles from Missoula, Jim and the other directors were not excited about the responsibility of traveling with seven children across the state, so they decided to take a radical step; they would attempt to cast the dwarfs from children in Miles City. The directors traveled across the state a week before the rest of the company, a bit skeptical about finding seven kids who might be interested in being in the play. When 450 children arrived at the tryout, the astonished team auditioned the huge group and cast the seven roles. The success of that week—obvious major interest among kids, parents, teachers, and even the press as well as an excellent production and sold out audiences—opened the eyes of the MCT staff and opened the doors to the MCT future.

The lessons learned in those early days, especially the rewards of involving children as cast members, set the stage for today's International Tour, MCT's Performing Arts Camps a strong local children's season, the acclaimed MCT Community Theatre, and the magnificent home base facility which opened its doors in 1998. As for the future, MCT continues to reach for the stars.

*This information is from the Missoula Children’s Theatre website. For additional information, visit their website.