“All the world’s a stage” and the arts are our most vital means of connecting to the rest of that world. By sharing the best that we have to offer through music, dance, performing and visual art, others learn about us – what brings us joy, what we are passionate about and our ideals as a society. Likewise, it is through the arts that we learn about others and their perspective on the world. For these reasons the PAC’s outreach program “PAC To Go” came into being back in 2007. Since then, we have discovered numerous opportunities to step outside the theatre and share what we are doing and what we are learning with the rest of the community and in some cases the rest of the country.
“PAC To Go” programs include our monthly PAC Kid Spotlight interviews; bringing Missoula Children’s Theatre workshops to classrooms; leading improv exercises at schools; speaking to civic organizations about arts programming; and sharing stage craft techniques throughout Hardin County. But our reach isn’t limited to the Heartland. We also rent set pieces, props, costumes and puppets we’ve used in past productions to schools and theatres across the country — schools like Minooka Community High School a few miles from Chicago who recently rented several of our Little Mermaid puppets. In addition to delivering them to their doorstep, our costumer, Allison Eckel, and I provided two days of training on how to get the most out of the puppets and care for them. Take a look at this video and see how bringing an inanimate object to life magically brings people together.
“Although we are a high school, we strive to produce shows that are a level above the typical high school musical. The puppets and props that we rented from Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center really helped us meet that goal. The hand puppets provided that visual link to the cartoon’s characters that brought the iconic characters to the stage while my performers who were manipulating the puppets were still free to individualize their living character performances. I can’t thank Bart and Allison enough for being so generous with their time in training our actors and actresses in the use of puppets/props; for [sharing] their advice based on their experiences using these, and for their emotional and creative support. It was wonderful meeting and working with them.”
— Minooka Community High School Director, Glenda Smith
“Dancing is expression. The props added an additional dimension by allowing the dancers to extend their expression beyond their fingertips. The props helped create better dancers while enhancing the audience’s visual experience.”
— Minooka Community High School choreographer, Patricia Grawey-Beeler
The revenue we receive from these rentals goes toward future productions but even more rewarding are the connections we make and the things WE learn from the organizations we get the opportunity to visit.
This month the PAC Kid Spotlight shines on John Hardin High School student Lucy Sonsalla. In addition to her involvement in several JHHS organizations and having performed in several productions on the PAC stage over the years, Lucy is currently a PAC Aide helping in construction and backstage operations at the facility under the tutelage of the PAC staff. Learn more about Lucy and our other PAC Kids.
Congratulations to MARIAN BOLLINGER & VICKI WILSON — lucky winners of a $20 PAC gift certificate for completing their Missoula Children’s Theatre Robin Hood program surveys.