The Missoula Children’s Theatre comes to Talkeetna Elementary

The cast of “Jack and the Beanstalk” at Talkeetna Elementary School. Photo by Katie Writer – KTNA.

by:  Katie Writer

The Talkeetna Elementary School students had an intensive week of play practice in preparing for the musical, Jack and The Beanstalk. The performances this past weekend were well attended by adoring parents and community members.

The Artist in Residence program of Talkeetna Elementary hosted Joanna Shapiro and Emma Harr of the Missoula Children’s Theatre for some jam packed days. The students had to learn their roles, lines, songs in five days, which is no easy undertaking.

Along with Jack and Jill, the cast of characters included circus performers, farmers, merchants, wonder beans, mother, harp, giant, and Milky White, the cow.

Fifth grader Kalson Harrell happily played the circus director.

“And what would a circus not be complete without a brave young man, the lion tamer!”

Along with the children’s singing was Accompanist Shauna Saatzer, who kept the show moving as well as Missoula’s Children Theater directors, Joanna Shapiro and Emma Harr.

“Jack be nimble, jack be quick…Money, money, money..!”

The classic story of Jack selling the beloved Milky White cow to help put food on the table has it’s funny twists.

“You sold Milky White for a handful of beans…Oh Jack! Not a good deal! Not a good investment. Oh Jack.”

Many Talkeetna children, including Shelby Whitecar who played Jack, have had prior exposure to performing on stage with the Green Lights Circus and plays performed at the The Denali Arts Council. Joanna Shapiro applauded the students for their hard work.

“For those of you who don’t know, these kiddos auditioned on Monday and in just five short days, learned all of the songs, dances and lines that you saw them perform today. If they can do this in five days, imagine what they can do for the rest of their lives. Please give them a round of applause.”

Talkeetna Elementary School Principal Becky Moren thanks The Jessica Stevens Foundation, The Talkeetna Bachelors Society, and The Talkeetna Community Council for financial support that funded this year’s Artist in Residence.

“They will play loud and strong, and a trapeze you will see a swing, Hey!”

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