Arts council, children's theater continue partnership

CONYERS - The saying, "There are no small parts, only small actors," will prove true next week at the Rockdale Auditorium.

The Missoula Children's Theater, from Missoula, Mont., and the Conyers-Rockdale Council for the Arts will continue a partnership that started in 1995.

The visiting theater company will bring two tour actor directors, along with costumes, sets and props, to Conyers on Monday. Auditions will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for students in any county in grades one through 12, who will rehearse "Robinson Crusoe" all week and perform twice July 26. The auditions and performances are held at the Rockdale Auditorium, located at 903 Main St. in Conyers.

Interested students don't need to bring anything or prepare in advance for the audition, and no prior experience is necessary.

"(The students) will show up and (the Missoula directors) will teach them a simple dance routine, have them read something and maybe have them sing a couple of bars," said Ric Chiapetta, artist director for the Conyers-Rockdale Council for the Arts, about the auditions.

He said there is no fee to audition, but the 50 to 60 children who are cast must pay a $50 fee.

Depending on their age and ability, the student's role and responsibility will vary, Chiapetta said.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 22 to 26, the two directors will teach the chosen students their parts and help them practice for their performances, which will be held at 3 and 5 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at the auditorium.

"It's more fun work, than hard work, but putting together a show in a week is challenging," Chiapetta said.

He said most notably, the children will learn the importance of working together and will discover more about themselves and what they are capable of doing as students and actors.

"It's a great experience; it instills within the kids valuable lessons," Chiapetta said. "It's been a very successful program."

Every year since 1995, the children's theater company has had a similar program at the arts council.

"The kids always have a great time," Chiapetta said. "They learn to love theater and the arts and appreciate them more."

The July 26 performance is open to the public; tickets cost $2 for children and $3 for adults.

More information about the auditions and the performances is available by calling the Conyers-Rockdale Council for the Arts at 770-922-3143 or by visiting www.conyersarts.org.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.

SideBar: If you go

· What: Missoula Children's Theater at the Conyers-Rockdale Council for the Arts auditions

· Who: First- through 12th-grade students

· When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday

· Where: Rockdale Auditorium, 903 Main St., Conyers

· Cost: $500 for each child that is cast

· More Information: www.conyersarts.org or 770-922-3143