Get your kids hooked on “Peter and Wendy” and put them on the next stage.

“Peter and Wendy,” an adaptation of the famous Sir James Barrie classic tale of “Peter Pan,” is the new play that students may be part of when the Missoula Children’s Theatre comes back to Kingsland for the third year at the end of the month and into the beginning of March.

“The show has really great music and some twists on the traditional fairy tale that all ages will enjoy,” said Kingsland School Parents (KSP) group leader Ann Priebe. The community event is sponsored by Kingsland School Parents with the help of a donation from Spring Valley Area Community Foundation.

“We have had great response the past two years and hope to continue it as a tradition. We hope this is another great community event,” said Priebe. “This is such a unique opportunity because Missoula Children’s Theatre brings in two professional actor-directors, along with the set, costumes and show. The commitment is just a week of hard work and fun, and the process, along with the end product, are amazing.”

The show, conceived and written by Michael McGill Music, with lyrics by Michael McGill, features Captain Hook who sends his right-hand man, Smee, on a quest to capture Peter Pan, which results in fantastic adventures. Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Darling embark on a quest of their own trekking everywhere from Hawaii to the North Pole in search of their three missing children. With help from the earth-friendly Neverlanders, exotic Neverland creatures and faithful TinkerBell, the Darling children are found, disputes are ultimately resolved, and all of them – including Captain Hook – find a place where they truly belong.

Auditions are coming up very soon, so students who are interested in becoming actors and actresses are encouraged to take the time to give it a go. The show is open to all area kindergarten through 12th graders, including Kingsland students, as well as students attending St. Johns or who are homeschooled. The shows are written for a cast of 60 to 65 kindergarten to 12th grade students and are adapted for as young as kindergarten through fifth grade.

“We have had turnouts of high 30s to low 40s for auditions the past two years. We thought opening the auditions to kindergarten through 12th graders would allow for more students to participate,” said Priebe. “Not everyone is guaranteed a role.  Students are encouraged to come to auditions ready to listen, follow directions and have fun!” 

Auditions are Tuesday, Feb. 28, from 3:15 to 5:15 p.m. in the Kingsland High School media center, with rehearsals from Wednesday to Friday. There will be transportation to rehearsals on Wednesday to Friday from Kingsland Elementary School to the community center after school. The show is on Saturday, March 4, at the Spring Valley Community Center.

The ensuing week will keep the students and Missoula staff very busy as there will be an assembly workshop for kindergarten through sixth graders on Monday, Feb. 27, at Kingsland Intermediate School, auditions are Tuesday, and rehearsals are for four hours after school each day.

“There is a lot of hard work involved in the week,” said Priebe. “All of the cast members will have songs and lines to learn, as well as coming together as a team to put on a production.”

Missoula Children’s Theatre’s return to Kingsland will offer students an opportunity to grow skills beyond the stage. The company has been around since 1974 and “has always promoted life skills through theater, emphasizing that it is the process of the week — the transformation — that is truly amazing, in addition to the end product of the show,” said Priebe. Missoula Children’s Theatre travels to all 50 states and more than 15 different countries.

“It’s a fantastic organization, and we are thrilled that it is coming to Spring Valley and Kingsland,” added Priebe.

Admission is $3 for students and $5 for adults with preschoolers admitted free of charge to the dress rehearsal and show, set for 3 and 5:30 p.m. respectively on Saturday, March 4.

The event is not a fundraiser for KSP. However, money from ticket sales and the concession stand will go to help bring in the company again, as well as offset some of KSP’s costs.

“This will be the last year of funding from SVACF, and we have been extremely grateful for their support,” said Priebe. “We will be looking for other sponsors for the future.”

The dress rehearsal and performance will take the stage at the Spring Valley Community Center. There is a photo session after each show and time in between the show where the audience will have a chance to chat with the student performers.

“We hope the kids go home to their parents and say they had an amazing time…that they worked hard but it was worth it,” said Priebe.