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(Enlarge) Farmers march off stage during the hourlong production, which was performed twice on Saturday afternoon at McGill Training Center. (Photo by Nate Pesce)

Farmers, clowns, angels and "wonder beans" all took the stage in the Missoula Children's Theatre production of "Jack and the Beanstalk" on Saturday afternoon.

Presented in two performances at McGill Training Center, the free hourlong production featured 56 performers in grades one through 12.

"It went great," said Elizabeth Lombardo, instructional program specialist for Child, Youth and School Services. "The kids did awesome."

The production featured six leading roles for older students. The younger children were cast in groups.

Robert Smith, 13, of Odenton, whose father is Sgt. 1st Class Michael Patterson, starred as Jack.

About 100 audience members attended the first performance, while about 150 people came to the second showing.

The show was produced by the Missoula Children's Theatre International Tour Project in collaboration with Fort Meade's Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration & Skills Unlimited program.

Missoula provides the costumes, props, makeup, and sound and lighting equipment for all the performances.

The Montana-based traveling theater company returned to Fort Meade by popular demand after last summer's presentation of "Robin Hood."

"They were invited back because parents wanted them back," Lombardo said.

The large cast had just a week to learn, build and rehearse after auditions on July 23.

But there was a waiting list for those who wanted to be in the show.

"There were only so many roles," Lombardo said. "We had to cap it out."

Two assistant directors from Missoula ran the Fort Meade production.

"They're great with kids and just do an amazing job," Lombardo said.

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