On March 31 and on April 1, the Perry High School Drama Department will put on their rendition of the musical “Peter Pan.”
The “Peter Pan” cast is made up of sixty-five members, including fourteen students ranging from second through eighth grade, dipping into the Perry Elementary, Perry Middle School, and St. Patrick’s School.
“There was an open casting call for boys from kindergarten through eighth grade that was put out late last fall,” High School Vocal, Musical Director, Jenn Nelson said. “We had auditions in December and collaborated with those teachers in different buildings to select the students for the musical.”
While informal rehearsals began in December, formal rehearsals started at the beginning of January. The cast has a set schedule of rehearsals on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 6:30-9 p.m. On weekends, cast members rehearse on Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon.
Sixteen volunteers, including students, community members, and those from neighboring communities, will also play music in an ‘orchestra pit’ throughout the duration of the musical.
Nelson noted that several students are involved behind the scenes, filling the following roles: building and painting the set, organizing props, helping with lights and sound, promoting the show, and hair and make-up.
Other music personnel include Brandon Weeks, High School Band and Pit Director, Merrilee Bales, Drama Director, Leah Weeks, Choreographer, Chriss Barck, Set Construction, and Steve Cook, Auditorium Manager.
In the spirit of “Peter Pan,” the Drama Department hired ZFX, Inc, a professional theatre flying effects company to recreate the memorable flying scenes from the original script.
“Really, to do justice to Peter Pan, you need to fly,” Nelson said. “You can’t do that without a professional flying company.”
The Drama Department hired one of the only two companies in the United States who specialize in specific drama-based flying. Nelson said a Flying Director came to Perry the week of Feb. 20 and spent around sixteen hours training actors.
The equipment was shipped from the company and the school is in charge of packing the equipment up and sending it back once the performances are finished.
“It is a large portion of the expenses,” Nelson said.
Since the cast is large, costumes have been created, rented, and borrowed, Nelson explained.
“It’s kind of been a combination; things that we already have, things that we have to purchase, and we make sure that things that we have had to purchase have been relatively inexpensive,” Nelson said. “We’ve rented some items – the crocodile costume.”
Nelson hinted at the difference between purchasing rights for a play compared to a musical.
“Musicals are just inherently more expensive than plays,” Nelson said.
Sales from tickets serve as the main source of revenue for the Perry High School Drama Department, but patrons are able to make donations to the Perry High School Department.
Perry High School’s performances of “Peter Pan” will begin on March 31 at 6:30 p.m. and April 1 at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Tickets will cost $5 for adults and $4 for children. Patrons are able to purchase tickets from the Perry High School office.
“Tea with Captain Hook and Wendy” will take place in the high school commons at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 1. Attendees can enjoy beverages and dessert with Captain Hook and Wendy. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in the High School office and at the door Friday night and on Saturday.