Sandhills Classical Christian School Performing Arts Director Lisa Burton warned parents at the inaugural performance of Peter Pan Jr on April 22 to hold down children to keep them from taking flight.
“Fairy dust may drift off the stage,” Burton said about the magical powers of belief in the supernatural.
With 16 musical numbers narrating the scenes, Burton’s directing abilities were showcased as spectacular.
Burton said they rehearsed each scene many times and were delighted when it all came together.
Peter Pan is a classical story about a young boy who refuses to grow up, and when chasing his shadow, he happens upon three children and takes them to Neverland. The Lost Boys lived with Peter Pan and were happy to have Wendy as their mother. But Peter Pan did not care for the responsibilities of being a father; even when Wendy reassured him, they were only pretending.
Burton was true to the tradition of portraying Peter Pan as a young adolescent boy by casting a petite female for the starring role.
When the star of the performance, Noelle Gilliam, a senior, took flight across the stage singing and dancing as a hoist suspended her high above Wendy and her brothers, John and Michael, gasps rose from the audience.
Nathan Popoca played Captain Hook, and Mia Bailey played Smee. When Smee polished Hook’s hook, the audience laughed, and Smee became the comic relief for Hook’s contempt.
Sandhills Classical Christian School’s Peter Pan Jr’s Captain Hook, Smee, and pirates plan on capturing Peter Pan at the April 22, 2023, performance.
Lead actors wore personal microphones, allowing a full audio range of their lines, but the supporting actors’ lines were unclear.
Elly Abbott played Wendy, Nick Goard played John, and Jack Murphy played Michael.
A petite actress, Lily Matthias, played three roles. She was a Brave Girl, played the nurse dog, Nana, and surprised everyone when she chased down Captain Hook and ate him as a life-size crocodile.
The choreography, costumes, and stage props spellbound everyone. The youngest children lining the audience’s aisles were silent as the tick-tock clock trapped in the crock echoed from the stage.
Feature photo: The cast and crew of Peter Pan Jr smile for the camera on April 22, 2023, at Sandhills Classical Christian School’s inaugural performance.
~Article and photos by Sandhills Sentinel Journalist Stephanie M. Sellers. Contact her at [email protected].