Northern News Services
Rankin Inlet (Oct 03/01) - More than 150 people showed up for a special theatrical performance in Rankin Inlet this past Thursday night.
As everyone who attended Sleeping Beauty in Rankin Inlet this past week found out, You Can't Trust a Troll, especially those named Nelson Kablalik, Bronson Akerolik, Andy Tugak Jr., Airon Desjardins or Atuat Shouldice, in back. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo
The play, Sleeping Beauty, was performed at the Maani Ulujuk middle school gym. Students from MUI, Leo Ussak elementary and Alaittuq high school made up the more than 50 cast members for the production.
The play was co-ordinated by actor-directors Michael Stoddard and Ann Chris Warren of the Missoula Children's Theatre.
The Missoula theatre is the largest touring children's theatre in the United States.
The theatre will visit more than 800 communities this year, with 25 teams of tour actor-directors.
Other than a cast, the tour team arrives in a community with everything it takes to put on a play, including set, lights, costumes, props and makeup.
The Rankin performance marked the theatre's first visit to the Eastern Arctic.
Cast members were auditioned at the beginning of the week and only had a few short days worth of rehearsals before curtain time.
The Kivalliq Inuit Association secured funding through the UMAYC Initiative to bring the Missoula Children's Theatre to Rankin.
Maani Ulujuk principal Margo Aksalnik says the students who took part in the play seemed to thoroughly enjoy the experience.
She says it was amazing what the two actors (Stoddard and Warren) were able to accomplish with the students in just a few short days. "We're hoping this could be something that comes to the Kivalliq region every year," says Aksalnik.
"Next year, we may look at spreading it out to give some of the other Kivalliq communities a chance, or look at doing two or three communities all in one swing."
Not only did the participating students get a taste of the theatre, the workshops they attended helped them develop social and communication skills.
"The kids' self-esteem also benefitted greatly from this experience.
"Being involved with this play made them feel like they were part of something really special."