CCA students to perform ‘Peter Pan and Wendy’ play

Published 6:06 pm Wednesday, April 23, 2014

4-24 CCA play_web

Students at Chilton Christian Academy perform a scene of “Peter Pan and Wendy” during a dress rehearsal Wednesday. The production will be held April 24 and 25 at CCA at 7 p.m.

Chilton Christian Academy students held a dress rehearsal Wednesday for their upcoming performances of J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan and Wendy” play April 24 and 25.

Sixty-five students in seventh–12th grades designed and built the set, sewed costumes, wired the CCA gymnasium for sound and lighting and memorized scripts for the school’s fourth annual production under the supervision of English teacher Charlotte Johnson.

“Adults don’t lead any part of it,” Johnson said of the production. “Everything you’re looking at, children built. It’s a big deal.”

Before Wednesday’s dress rehearsal started, students put on their costumes and greeted members of their first audience – CCA elementary students – and signed their autograph books.

Johnson said she assigned students their parts in the play, starting with seniors and juniors in the major character roles.

Trent Ray and Drew Hodges were both cast as Peter Pan in order to make the character appear as though he can fly from one spot to another on the set.

Johnson said she chose Ray, a junior, and Hodges, a freshman, for the part because they looked alike, which was a crucial factor in convincing the audience the character is just one person.

Ray and Hodges said they have enjoyed the production, especially after memorizing their scripts.

“It’s more fun after you’ve memorized your lines,” Ray said, and Hodges added, “You get to add in your own spice.”

Johnson handled Tinker Bell’s character the same way as Peter Pan’s and assigned multiple students to the role so that Tinker Bell would appear to fly in certain scenes.

Johnson cast senior Kaitlyn Garrison as Wendy, which Garrison said was her first major speaking role.

“Everybody’s worked together really well,” Garrison said and described the production as “spectacular.”

In addition to memorizing lines and constructing the set and costumes, Johnson said the students learned about budgeting and time management.

The budget for this year’s production was about $1,500 based on proceeds from the 2013 performances of William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.”

“The production is self-sustaining,” Johnson said. “Whatever we earn is what we can spend.”

Some items, including props and canvas backdrops, are recycled from one year to the next.

Students receive grades for memorizing their lines and complete peer reviews after the performances.

“It really teaches you about life in general,” Ray said. “After this, you’re not going to be graded by a teacher. You’re going to be graded by your peers.”

“Peter Pan and Wendy” will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday in the CCA gymnasium.

Tickets are $7 and may be purchased early or at the door each night. Doors open at 6 p.m., and seating will take place at 6:30 p.m.

To purchase tickets, call Chilton Christian Academy at (205) 688-4454.