Peter Pan Takes Flight

Savannah King, Staff Writer

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“Once upon a time and long ago, I heard someone singing, soft and low” – Peter Pan. This year the middle school production was Peter Pan. The entire cast and crew, 113  middle school students came together to act, sing, and dance for the musical.

Auditions for Peter Pan were held November 6, 2017, along with the callback auditions held on November 8 and 9. The students trying out for the play were instructed to memorize two monologues. Kelly Pendery, eighth grader, who has been involved in theatre since the age of seven said, “Memorizing the monologues are always the toughest part of auditions, especially Highlands. From walking in and out of the door, my mind is always set on the monologue.” In musical theatre, it is not all acting, dancing and singing come into play as well. “Dancing is not my strong suit, at all. In productions I am usually directed into more of the singing or acting parts. Although, I do try my best and put fourth my best effort as to all three categories.” Said Pendery. There are many talents spread throughout the theatre, which also includes singing. Eighth grader, Erica Kruse said, “Singing on stage is a great way for students, including myself, to express themselves within music.”

Once the cast list was posted the work began. “The practices can vary from immediately after school to sometimes 11 p.m.” Said Aidan Greenwell, eighth grader, “The practices are by far the hardest part of the entire production. Once you get your lines, memorization can be difficult, but having the ability to work with your schedule, along with others is always a struggle.” Mr. Burgess, director, said, “The toughest part of preparing is the sheer size of the show. When you have 113 students involved in a production, there are 113 different personalities, 113 different schedules, etc. It can be a lot to juggle at times, so you just have to take it one problem and one task at a time.” With all those different personalities, there is a lot to take on with so many students. These middle school productions are very interactive; many students join each year to get a touch into the theatre world. Not only for beginners, but additional students that have been involved before, have a case of stage fright. Stage fright is the ability to get nervous, furthermore, “frightened” during performances.  Getting out of their comfort zones can be very difficult, some may never will. “Honestly I just think it is nerves in general. Every student prefers one area than another, but it is the nerves that really get to them,” said Mr. Burgess.

Ruby Smith, eighth grader played the role of Wendy.  She said, “I’m so excited to play Wendy. I have never taken on a challenge like this, but I am happy to get a lead.” Makenna Pinkston, eighth grader, played Peter Pan, and she said, “The toughest part for me, is of course memorizing lines, but this year for my part, I may have to cut my hair. I also have to act like a man, which is very difficult.” Mrs. Darling and her children have a British accent, regularly in the plays. Avery Cavacini, casted as Mrs. Darling, said, “My biggest challenge for this production is pretending to talk in a British accent for the entire show.” The show includes many challenges, but these students were very excited to take them on!

 

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