Archive for Wednesday, November 20, 2002

A Royal Family

Alice in Wonderland” becomes tradition for the Vaca family

November 20, 2002

Kay Vaca had her reasons for practically dragging her son, Mark, into the audition for the Missoula Children's Theater production of "Alice in Wonderland."

Years ago, her husband, John, acted in the same play while he was a sophomore drama student at Washington High School.

And it was about the same time that Kay said she started falling for her future husband.

"That was the first thing I ever saw him in," she said.

So when auditions for this year's play rolled around, Kay said she was eager for Mark to try out.

But there was a catch: Mark had auditioned for the Missoula production two years ago and had not been cast. He wasn't about to put himself through that this year.

"He wasn't picked last time, so he didn't want to do it again," Kay said. "But I said please just try it for me. I thought it might be nice to have him and his dad in the same play."

Mark eventually did what his mother asked and auditioned for the play. But unlike the previous audition, this time when names of cast members were called, Mark made the cut.

"I was just really nervous when we were getting picked at the audition," 11-year-old Mark said. "I wasn't really into the acting stuff until now."

"I think he learned not to automatically count yourself out," Kay said. "There's no harm in at least trying."

Mark, a fifth-grader at Glenwood Ridge Elementary School, was cast as the King of Cards in this year's play. His father, John, played the Ace of Cards when he was in the production.

The play took center stage Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Basehor-Linwood High School auditorium. Overall, 58 students from the Basehor-Linwood School District were cast in the production.

The Missoula Children's Theater, founded in 1970, has come to the school district for the last three years. Previous performances were "Treasure Island" and "Red Riding Hood."

BLHS teacher and sponsor Mardy Robinson brought the children's theater to the school district.

Robinson said she has been involved with the Missoula theater since she was younger and worked for them in college.

"I thought it would be a good thing for the school district," she said.

Robinson said the children's theater would come back for more productions.

And although Mark said he's more of a sports guy, he, too, plans to continue acting, an activity he and his father now share.

So who was better in their roles son or husband?

"Well, Mark had a lot more lines than John did," Kay said. "Alice in Wonderland isn't one of my favorite shows. The only reason I went the first time is because of John, and the only reason I went the second time is because of Mark."

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