A total of 43 Monument School students experienced the joys of acting, taking part in the Missoula Children’s Theatre production “Peter & Wendy.”

“Missoula has really taught me to speak out and go out of my comfort zone even in times when I don’t really want to,” said freshman Mark Thomas, who played the part of Peter.

Sophomore Aubrey Bowlus, cast as Wendy, said she enjoyed the “exhilarating feeling” performing for the audience.

Children’s theater actresses Allie Marshall and Hannah Kulus held an audition Nov. 13 and spent a week teaching the students acting fundamentals while the students learned their lines. The hard work culminated in a presentation for an audience of more than 80 on Nov. 17.

The children’s theater visits the school each year for what fourth- through sixth-grade teacher Laura Thomas said is a great opportunity for all the students.

“I love that the program allows our students to be exposed to an aspect of the fine arts which we would not be able to provide to them otherwise,” Thomas said. “(It’s) a wonderful week that is filled with fun and excitement.”

She said, even if some students don’t participate in the play, they each take part in a 50-minute workshop.

The children’s theater, which has been in existence for 45 years, will work with 65,000 children this year in all 50 states and 17 countries this year.

“I liked getting to have a part in the play each year, and I like learning about the story of each play,” said third-grader Josh Thomas.

Third-grader Taylor Hamilton added, “I like how Missoula Children’s Theatre comes every year to teach us a play. I learn a lot about acting and expressions during it.”

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