WORTHINGTON - Rehearsals begin after school Monday for the Dakota Players Children’s Theatre presentation, “You Look Marvelous.”

The production is billed as a highly entertaining and clever retelling of the popular Hans Christian Anderson fable about the pitfalls of vanity and good and the outstanding truth of the statement, “There are no stupid questions?”

This marks the second consecutive year the South Dakota-based children’s theatre has visited Worthington to give kids theatrical experience. The production took place in January last year and after battling snow days and bad weather, Tammy Makram, managing director of the Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center, said it was decided to bring the theatre troupe to town during nicer weather.

Auditions begin at 3:45 p.m. Monday at the auditorium, with rehearsals scheduled Tuesday through Friday. The performance is 2 p.m. Saturday. Children enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grade are invited to participate in the theatre production, with roles for up to 50 youths available.

People are asked to register their children through District 518 Community Education by Monday, and Makram said registration forms will also be at the auditorium during Monday’s auditions. District 518 Community Education has scholarships available for families to help cover participation costs.

“We want as many young people to come as we can,” Makram said. “The majority of (Dakota Players) shows are based on something so the kids can have a good time, but also learn some life lessons at the same time.”

During similar children’s theatre productions brought to the Memorial Auditorium stage, Makram said she can see a change in participants from the beginning to the end of the week.

“They can be very shy during the audition and just not have that level of confidence, and by the end of the week, it was a complete change around and they were very comfortable on stage and very confident.”

Deb Workman, executive director of the Dakota Players Children’s Theatre, said theatre and the arts are inclusive and offer youths the opportunity to experience new things.

“For theatre, it’s not that everyone we work with is going to be a Broadway star,” Workman said. “They’re going to be teachers and volunteers and doctors and parents and value creativity and fun.

“Realistically it’s good for the soul - it’s transformational, it’s educational,” she added.

Workman said professional actors and directors will work with the children all next week, leading a fun, safe and nonjudgmental environment.

“It’s a fast-paced week, but when you let them in on the fun and creative part of this, they do amazing things,” she said. “We have high expectations and they meet it. Kids are amazing.”

Makram also encouraged parents to get their children involved in theatre.

“This is such a great experience for them and a wonderful opportunity,” Makram said.

The Dakota Players residency is made possible by The Friends of the Auditorium and District 518 Community Education.