Young actors and actresses again have taken over The Ritz Theatre.
The theater's 13th children's summer camp is under way this week, and a repeat of the camp is scheduled next week. Campers are to present "The Princess and the Pea" at 7 p.m. Friday and June 24 and 2 p.m. Saturday and June 25.
Dianne Pytel, education director at The Ritz, said the play is not the typical story of "The Princess and the Pea." Each year, the play presents a traditional story but changes it.
This year's characters include a prince, a princess, Storm King, Snow Queen, King Size, Queen Size, winter wind workers, blizzard bringers, icicle sharpeners, snow smoothers, flower gardeners, river runners, green shoot growers, tree barkers, dust bunnies, Jack Frost, leprechauns and phony princesses, according to information from Pytel.
"Somebody's (been cast as) a pea," she said.
The camp, which started Monday, again is being offered through Missoula Children's Theatre.
"(Children) auditioned (Monday) morning from 10 to 12. ... When they're not on stage, we have age-appropriate and performing arts-related workshops," Pytel said.
The children can learn about dance, play theater games and make crowns and hats. The older campers can participate in a "Project Runway" activity.
"They have to make costumes out of toilet paper rolls," she said.
Thursday, Prairie Orchid, a folk-singing and story-telling duo, is to serve as the guest artist.
Pytel said the campers rehearse in groups and individually. They will be working on individual parts with lines or will work as an ensemble if they are part of one, she said.
"Everybody's doing something from 10 a.m. until 3:30," she said.
Volunteers contribute about 450 hours during the camps, and some have been helping for 12 years, Pytel said.
The camp is limited to 64 children, including 60 actors and actresses and four assistant directors. This week's camp has 62 campers, and next week's will have 58, Pytel said.
"A lot of them have been here in excess of 10 years," she said.
Pytel said children keep coming back because they love the camp.
"It's just as much a social event as it is ... a creative event," she said.