MAT works through summer programs with COVID restrictions

Rachel Jamieson, Havre Daily News

Rachel Jamieson, Havre Daily News

Havre Daily News/Jack Lambert
A Havreite reads for the role of Frank Wednesday during auditions in the Creative Leisure Building for the Montana Actors’ Theatre production of “The Wizard of Oz.” With Phase Two of the state’s re-opening ongoing, MAT is moving forward with its youth production and its KidsMAT camps, but is using restrictions to reduce the chance of the spread of novel coronavirus 2019.

Phase Two of Gov. Steve Bullock’s re-opening plan has allowed Montana Actors’ Theatre to hold its summer youth production and children’s camps, but with a few restrictions.

MAT held auditions for its youth production of “The Wizard of Oz” this week, and its camps for younger children start next week, with the first camp in Havre.

The children’s camps will also produce “The Wizard of Oz.”

The camp next week will take place outdoors and will be limited to 25 participants.

Intern Aria Pratt said it is going to be hard to incorporate social distancing and health measures, but plans are laid out to follow the guidelines.

“The kids camps will have hula hoops and things like that to teach them how to social distance and the rules of coughing, and keeping themselves clean,” she said. “We have hula hoops to keep them away from each other and play games.”

She said the children will not be required to wear masks.

Her mother, Angie Pratt, who oversees MAT’s summer youth and children’s programs, said procedural things are put in place for how they’ll keep things clean and how they are going to work with the children.

“We’ve got lots of things in place,” she said. “We will be taking temperatures, and each parent will sign off each day on the health of their child and then if they show any symptoms.”

A COVID-19 procedure sheet will be provided to the parents and guardians of their child that lists rules and protocols of camp operations.

The list includes procedures in means of check-in, sick members, sick staff, snacks and water, general camp operations and end of camp.

Health checks will be performed in each center by the staff as members arrive.

Sick campers and staff will be allowed back to the camp when  they no longer show any symptoms or signs of sickness.

Individual prepackaged snacks will be provided for each participant.

Parents are asked to check for all symptoms that apply to their child in the last 48 hours each day. The checklist has:

• Fever of 100.5 F or above, or possible fever symptoms like alternating chills

• Cough

• Trouble breathing, shortness of breath or severe wheezing

• Chills or repeated shaking with chills

• Muscle aches

• Sore throat

• Loss of smell, taste or a change in taste

• Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

• Headache

• None of the above

If the parent answered anything other than “no” or “none of the above” the child is unable to attend camp that day.

The symptoms are based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and Mayo Clinic’s expert opinion.

KidsMAT Camp is Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The children will rehearse and then produce “The Wizard of Oz” Thursday at 7 p.m. in The Little Theatre in Montana State University-Northern’s Cowan Hall.

Youth who are interested can register at .

For the first child, the registration fee is $50 for each camp and $35 for each additional child.

For more information or to request a scholarship, people can contact Pratt at 390-2729 or, and Crissy Bauman in Shelby at

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