Missoula Children’s Theatre and Bentley students perform

Bentley’s students and Missoula Children’s Theatre recently staged a rendition of The Secret Garden

Dickon (Lyndsey Grutterink

Dickon (Lyndsey Grutterink

Bentley’s students and Missoula Children’s Theatre recently staged a rendition of The Secret Garden solid enough to carry the play’s classic and famous origins.

Missoula Children’s Theatre is a production company that sends creative theatre teams around the world to spend one week in different communities and use that short amount of time to build an entire play.

This year Grace McGeoch and Vicky Seigrist, both tour actors and directors, worked with the Bentley’s youths. They were amazed at the actors’ ability to handle the long rehearsals and challenges that accompany staging the production.

“The kids are just really on it. They’re working really hard and they’re just very expressive,” said McGeoch.

The directors agreed the rehearsals went so smoothly because of the dedication the students poured into the play. Seigrist says each rehearsal was a higher notch on the scale, despite unusual circumstances.

“This whole week we haven’t been able to be on stage. We’ve been practicing in different spaces, small spaces but the kids have adapted very well,” said Seigrist.

McGeoch felt the students were able to handle the play because of their mature approach to hard work and their vocal abilities.

A portion of the maturity came from Bentley’s Missoula veterans.

Student Savanna Spendiff, who played Mary Lennox, has been in every Missoula production at the school for the past 10 years. “I like acting, I love it.”

Spendiff said Missoula is a good opportunity for those who enjoy acting to experience it year after year in the limited environment of a small school.

Lyndsey Grutterink, who played Dickon, is another long-time Missoula fan. She’s been acting in the productions for nine years.

She may be in it for her acting abilities and love of spending the time with friends; Grutterink isn’t blind to the hard work put forth to make the opportunity possible for her and the other students.

“It’s pretty crazy to see how much work Vicky and Grace put into this.”

See more photos in this week’s paper.