Missoula Children’s Theater 2021 and Beyond

Not a post…but a letter.
Dear Friends and Family of MCT,
Missoula Children’s Theater is cancelled again for this year, and unless we find funding, we may not be able to afford to bring it back. But please keep reading.
The last three years of Missoula, 2017, 2018, and 2019, the total price increased from $4000 to over $5000 and over the last two years LVAC lost a total of almost $3000. Some funding sources dried up, some passed away, some transferred their giving to other local non-profits who have also done very important work.

We usually book Missoula in December, and start raising funds then. In December of 2020, Dr. Minner said that Ilfeld Auditorium would probably not reopen until Fall of 2021 at the earliest. While that may be changing a little, our “turquoise” didn’t occur in time to plan. Also Missoula’s requirements include wearing masks, social distancing, and sanitizing all rehearsal/performance/dressing room/rest room/lunchroom locations would have been a full time job at Ilfeld for volunteers or paid staff. Imagine kids performing and singing their
earts out in masks.
Before the pandemic, in very early 2020, I spoke to a committed MCT mom and grandma, and asked her to help me tackle the fundraising. She agreed, and then COVID. Cancelling in 2020 was our only option. Last November, I posted on our Facebook page, Las Vegas NM Missoula Children’s Theater, asking for interested alumni and families to let me know if they would join a group for discussing the possibilities…and there were no takers. That was smack in the middle of the pandemic. We understood.
So here we are…in a new place, and a new year, considering our options for the future.
Let us know if you are interested in a conversation about moving forward…there are options besides Missoula, and $5000 isn’t an impossible fortune to try and raise…but usually 50 – 60 kids is the limit, and that’s $100 each. For 35 consecutive years we were able to provide a musical theater experience at no cost to the families, in the grand, historic Ilfeld Auditorium. Potentially 2000 young people participated over those years, although many were repeat performers, some for all twelve years of eligibility. Courage replaced stage fright, new friends were made, and perhaps a few careers were launched. We are still in touch with the first star of the first show…Snow White produced in 1985, and we started this alumni and friends’ group about six years ago.
The Las Vegas Arts Council is willing to be responsible for the management, publicity, and fiscal sponsorship, if we can just find $5000, or come up with other affordable and funded options. We have reached out to the Nat Gold Players and to a few super-qualified theatrical locals, too.
So what do you think? What would you like to see in 2022? Let me know if you would like to brainstorm!
We will be sharing with all the MCT parents from the last couple of years…loving the theater and the kids, and missing it all so much!
Susie Tsyitee
Executive Director
Las Vegas Arts Council__Gallery 140