Columbia children to star in 'The Little Mermaid' on Saturday

Friday, May 8, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Most theatrical productions take months to prepare. But the version of the "The Little Mermaid" being performed Saturday at MU has taken just a week.

Part of the University Concert Series, the show is being put on by the Missoula Children's Theatre and stars Columbia children. The Missoula Children's Theatre, based in Montana, is an organization that travels the world putting on shows. Its directors arrive in a city, hold auditions for the children there and spend the week practicing the selected play or musical.

If you go

What: Missoula Children's Theatre presents "The Little Mermaid"

When: 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Jesse Auditorium, MU

Tickets: $8, can be purchased online at, by calling 882-3781 or in person at 409 Jesse Hall


Gregory Kanter and Jason Studley are the tour actors and directors for the Columbia performance.  Since holding auditions Monday, they've spent this week working with more than 50 children to put on "The Little Mermaid."

"It's been going very smoothly," Kanter said. "The kids in Columbia are wonderful."

Kanter said that throughout the week, he's been impressed with the children's work ethic and their dedication to the show. "It's really inspiring," he said.

Kanter and Studley both direct the show and are each scheduled to make an appearance acting as well.

The show is a Missoula Children's Theatre original and is based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen, with a few additions.

"It's the original fairy tale with a twist," Kanter said. "It's going to be a lot of fun."

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