AMHERST — Missoula Children’s Theatre is coming to town and will stage a full production of Jack and the Beanstalk in just one week — from auditions to the performance.

“It is remarkable to see what the Missoula directors can accomplish in such a short time,” noted Barbara Pistrang, vice-chair for Amherst Community Theater who will work MCT. “The plays are written simply enough so that the children can learn their songs, spoken lines and movements in just a few days. The participants have a lot of fun creating theater this way.”

MCT comes in with its own directors, sets and costumes and auditions local children from kindergarten through grade 12 for 60 available cast spots. Rehearsals for the older children begin the same day as auditions and continue throughout the week, culminating in two performances on Saturday at the Amherst Regional Middle School auditorium.

“The Missoula auditions are very casual and friendly. Children should put away any nervousness they might feel and do their best to show their theatrical talents during auditions,” explained Pistrang. “The directors know how to make everyone feel comfortable at auditions, and everyone has a good time.”

With the exception of 2020 and 2021, MCT has returned to Amherst every year since its first appearance in 2011 with Sleeping Beauty. Recent MCT productions have been Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White and Aladdin. Some years are more popular than others.

“We never know for sure how many children will audition. We have had some years when everyone was able to be cast and other years when we had to turn some children away since the cast size is limited to about 60,” explained Pistrang. “Our recent major productions of The Little Mermaid and Seussical have helped generate interest in the Missoula show, and many cast members from those productions are likely to come to Missoula auditions.”

MCT’s shows are really designed around what young actors and actresses can do and open them up to the world of drama. The organization takes classic stories and creates simple scripts and songs that will work well for younger casts.

“Nobody is asked to do anything that is too difficult for them,” said Pistrang. “Participating with MCT is an excellent way for youngsters to get their first — or subsequent — stage experience in a truly supportive environment. Both the participants and audience members have been very enthusiastic about the productions.”

Auditions will take place at the ARMS cafeteria on Monday, April 1 from 4-5:30 p.m. and are organized as one large group audition. No signup or prior registration is needed.