Discover ‘Treasure Island’ at St. John Theatre

Published 12:10 am Saturday, August 5, 2017

RESERVE — A bunch of ruffians and pirates invaded the St. John Theatre this week in search of buried treasure.

Area theater lovers will get to see the bounty today.

The Missoula Children’s Theater brought its annual summer children’s theater workshop to St. John the Baptist Parish this week, helping dozens of area school children bring “Treasure Island” to life.

The troupe will present shows at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. today at St. John Theatre, 115 W. 4th St. in Reserve.

Tickets are $3 at the door.

Landing the lead role of Jim Hawkins in the swashbuckling tale is 14-year-old stage veteran Luke Boucvalt. The St. Charles Catholic student was Aladdin in last year’s summer production. He also has portrayed a horseman in Robin Hood and a toy solider in Pinocchio.

14-year-old stage veteran Luke Boucvalt stars as Jim Hawkins.

He said he was thrilled to get the lead, but it is a lot of pressure.

“You’ve got all these lines to learn,” Boucvalt said. “I get it’s a little kids’ show so you think, oh it’s not that big. It’s not on Broadway or anything. But my opinion is, a lead is a lead, so I’ll take it.”

The aspiring professional actor said the Missoula week is always fun for him.

“I’ve been doing theater for about seven years,” he said. “This is my fifth or sixth Missoula show. It’s really fun. I enjoy doing it. I love my cast I’m working with. A lot of them are my friends that did Missoula with me last year when we did Aladdin.”

The responsibility for dividing the children into pirates, ruffians and a flock of seagulls fell this year to the travelling duo of Nick Schommer, of Green Bay, Wisc., and McKenna Hiler of Grand Junction, Colo..

They are brand new members of the Montana-based Missoula Children’s Theatre, which has brought the theater to Reserve for several years.

Schommer and Hiler have spent the past six weeks travelling throughout the country, visiting towns they’ve never heard of and teaching the same play to a wide variety of children.

“It’s based on the Robert Louis Stevenson book but it’s condensed into a show with a run time of approximately an hour and 10 minutes, which is perfect for kids,” Schommer said.

This was the duo’s sixth stop of the summer.

“We are new to the job,” Schommer said. “But so far, all of the places we’ve been, we’ve been told we’re the best tag team they’ve seen for a while — which, we’re going to take as a huge compliment.”

Hiler said she was reluctant to join the troupe at first, but now wouldn’t trade it for anything.

“I really had no idea what it was,” she said. “I just thought it was a children’s theater.

“When I got the callback and found out what it was I thought, I can’t think of something more fun, more perfect, more rewarding, which is exactly what this job is. It’s the most rewarding thing I’ll ever do.”