Local youths star in ‘The Pied Piper’ at LPCA

LAKE PLACID – Formed in the 1970s, the Missoula Children’s Theatre has been bringing live theatre and workshops to the Lake Placid Center for the Arts for the past 14 years. This year’s musical production of “The Pied Piper” is based on the classic Brothers Grimm story, “The Pied Piper of Hamelin.” Auditions took place July 28th with roles for area children ages 5 to 18.

Drew Benware, the Northern Adirondack Vocal Ensemble (NAVE) choral director, will accompany this year’s production.

According to Missoula Children’s Theatre tour staff Mandi Carrao, their version of this classic tale is slightly different as the original is a bit dark. In the Missoula version the town of Hamelin is still overcome with rats so a young orphan girl named Sarah and the townspeople go to the mayor and council for advice to rid the town of these pests.

The younger children (5 to 7 year olds) play the rats, 8 year olds play the town’s children, and 9 to 11 year-olds play cooks while the older 12 to 18 year olds play the council.

The leads are reserved for older children while Carrao and her tour partner, Allison McCarthy, alter roles of director and the mayor between their various stops.

“In the Missoula Children’s Theatre version the premise of the story is still the same,” Carrao said. “The town is overrun with rats and the townspeople hire the piper to rid the town of rats. In our version the mayor doesn’t allow the town to laugh. When the piper does take the children, he returns them after the townspeople learn their lesson. Rehearsals start the day of tryouts and continue everyday with the performance held on the sixth day.

“We don’t feed the actors their lines. They are rehearsing them the whole week in addition to learning the songs. We are encouraging improvisation and thinking on their feet, to come up with their own solutions if they forget something. If they do slip up, one of us is on stage to help. We know this performance and that allows us to provide that safety net.”

This year’s musical “The Pied Piper” will be held at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts on Aug. 2 with two performances only, noon and 3 p.m.

For more information or for tickets, call the LPCA?box office at 518-523-2512.