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REPORTING · 9th January 2014
Walter McFarlane
Mount Elizabeth Middle and Secondary School Musical Theatre is getting ready to fly with this year’s production of Peter Pan. The students take to the stage on January 17th at 8:00 pm, January 18th at 8:00 pm, Friday January 24th at 8:00 Pm, Saturday January 25th at 8:00 Pm and Sunday, January 26th at 2:00 Pm. Tickets are available from Students and at the door.

“Peter Pan is a classic story, it needs to be told. We did have plans of doing it last year, but it got pulled because it was on a North American Tour. We’ve wanted to do it for a long time,” said Musical Theatre Teacher, Rick Jones.

The play stars Teah Wilken as Peter Pan, Brennan Bantle as Captain Hook and Zoe Gielens as Wendy. Even one of the MEMSS Teachers is getting in on the act; Sally Sousa is playing Nana the Dog.

The show is so big, they brought up, Johnny Pickett to serve as Flying Director from Las Vegas. He works for Flying by Foy, which was started by Peter Foy who Flew Peter Pan back in 1954. This is his 92nd time being involved with Peter Pan.

“Over the last 68 years, we’ve grown to be recognized as the world’s leader in theatrical flying effects. We do everything from High School Theatres to Broadway to Television to movies. We do flying for anything and everything,” said Pickett.

Communication went back and forth between Jones and Pickett to communicate the production before the two of them worked for 9 hours to install the various rigs. There is a fair amount of flying in the performance. This is not a show to be missed and there are a lot of people looking forward to it.

When all is said and done, the flying equipment will be returned. “We only have a rental of them. I would love to see if we can get them permanently installed and that is a possibility but that is a pricy venture. The flying alone is close to $10,000 for this show, including the flying director and all the installation and the three days of training that he’s been giving us,” said Jones.

There are 30 students involved in the performance and 27 volunteers. The costumes being produced for the show are gorgeous. “Nana the Dog was costume made for this show and it is absolutely amazing. The Ostrich is as wild as can be. The Crocodile, we’ve got a lion which is being produced right now and all the individual characters of course, all of our costumes are sown like they usually are by a very talented group,” said Jones.

Set design is being done by the youth as well as Moreno Guizzo and Peter Ponter. The sets include the Darling house nursery, an island with plenty of surprises which will be revealed during the show and the pirate ship.

The students have been working on this for four months and you will have to spend a whole year waiting for the next one. The theatre is putting in 13-16 hour days, going full tilt on the production.

Pickett stated he was really impressed with our theatre for a town which is deemed to be in the middle of nowhere. “You’ve got a real nice healthy program going on,” said Pickett.