Bravo! Fairies. Pirates. Lost Boys. Brave Girls. Mermaids. The costumes were brightly colored, the set was spectacularly detailed and the audience was enthralled as Peter Pan, Jr. hit the stage this week. It’s been 15 years since the tale became the first play to be performed on the VPAC stage. This year the boy who wouldn't grow up and the cast of characters returned to the stage in honor of this anniversary. The show featured a cast of 152 kids between third and eighth grades. 1-5-2! The average age of the students was ten years old, with many on stage for the very first time. While many of the students were new to performing, you certainly could not tell.
From the moment Peter Pan and the massive cast filled the stage and the surrounding area, to the cast’s final number there was a sense of excitement and joy throughout the VPAC. The young performers belted out musical numbers with confidence. They danced and delivered lines with ease. The performance was filled with pride, youthfulness and yes, even pixie dust.
Peter Pan, Jr. showcased the Episcopal community’s support and enthusiasm for each other. Family, friends, visiting schools and teachers from across campus were present to cheer on the young thespians. Nightly performances were sold out, with even tickets for the final dress rehearsal going fast. Many on campus were involved in making the show a success from the light and sound crews to the art students who made headpieces.
Perhaps this show of support and the encouragement felt among family and friends provided these first time actors the boost they needed to tackle the stage for the first time. No doubt for many of them this certainly will not be the last time. As they continue to participate in theater productions they will find that they grow from each experience with exposure to new people and an empathy and understanding that comes from playing the part of someone else.
Peter Pan, Jr. was the first play performed on the VPAC stage fifteen years ago. It’s safe to say today’s cast made the original crew proud with their rendition.