Public invited to view film of Missoula Children's Theatre at free event
Oct. 16, 2008
Harrisburg, PA – Come see Harrisburg kids and kids from four other communities across the nation as they make their film debut in “Little Red Truck,” a documentary that chronicles the Missoula Children’s Theatre on tours in its signature vehicle.
The film will be shown at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, at Rose Lehrman Arts Center on the Harrisburg Campus of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College. Admission is free but reservations are required.
When the Missoula Children’s Theatre, the world’s largest touring theatre for children, comes to town, the troupe comes with pretty much everything necessary in its truck to stage a full-scale musical. All that is needed is 50 to 60 ambitious youth in grades K-12 to join the cast.
While the truck provides the film’s focal point, the real story is the children who do the improbable: learn a show’s dialogue, songs, dance moves, and staging in just six days. It’s magic and mayhem captured through the lens as the kids, under the direction of the two professional tour actor/directors who come with the truck, audition, rehearse, mess up, have the occasional meltdown, overcome personal obstacles, jump for joy, don costumes, and eventually grace the stage for a one-hour performance.
“The Little Red Truck” was awarded “Best Feature Documentary” at the International Family Film Festival in March 2008.
“This film restored my faith in humanity,” said Rob Whitehair, who co-directed with Pam Voth. “It forced me to look at things in a different light and ask myself, ‘At what point do we lose the ability to say anything is possible.’
“These kids still believe (that),” added Whitehair, who made a name for himself by capturing wildlife on film for National Geographic, Discovery and PBS productions.
The decision to turn the company’s cameras on kids, rather than the usual wild animals, was easier than one might expect, Voth said. “For us to venture beyond wildlife filmmaking, the story had to be extremely compelling and entertaining. This project promised that and more. Over the course of six days, you see kids blossom and grow, and you get to witness personal triumphs they’ll carry into adulthood," she said.
“Add in the actors/directors who hold it all together and you have a truly powerful story, no matter what angle you approach it from,” Voth said.
Whitehair and Voth spent nearly a year shadowing the tour, going to Harrisburg as well as Hollywood; Americus, Ga.; Somerton, Ariz., and Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Canada. Although these communities are geographically and demographically distinct, they share one common thread: the need for fully accessible performing arts programs.
The film’s running time is 98 minutes. For more information or to reserve free tickets, contact the Rose Lehrman Box Office at (717) 231-ROSE (7673).
For more information on “The Little Red Truck” visit http://www.thelittleredtruck.com.
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