“Peter Pan” A Unique Show for Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy

The spring production of “Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up” brings several new elements to the FSHA stage, including two major roles with no lines and an innovative stage design.

Actresses will perform “Peter Pan” on a stage erected “in the round.” Unlike many previous shows, the stage for Peter Pan will be expanded, breaking the audience seating into six zones creating a “theatre in the round.” This will allow the actresses to be seen by audiences from the four sides of the stage.

“It makes me more conscious of my movement because I am being watched from all angles,” said Natalia Zamudio ’13, who plays Lisa in the show.

Covering almost two-thirds of the auditorium, the spacious stage will allow the actresses to do more activities such as flying.

“They will fly but probably not the way one might expect,” said Director Mr. Mark Bommarito. The audience will be a part of the scenery because their seats will be decorated with the images of a pirate ship, a forest and other themes of the play.

“The audience can go inside and choose where they want to sit,” said Mr. Bommarito. “The audience may feel more involved in the play because they themselves are part of it.”

The actresses will go back and forth to the stage through entrances between audience zones at the four corners. —Judy Lee

Tinker Bell must convey thoughts without talking

Although she has never acted in a play before, Senior SALT member Julia Houser ‘14 took on the big role of Tinker Bell, a character with no lines in the spring production of “Peter Pan.”

Houser must express her feelings through facial expression and props. “Sometimes it is hard to act when I can’t talk,” she admitted.

Houser will hold a wand that has a light at the end which will symbolize how small Tinker Bell really is meant to be.

She has created her own choreography, a mix of ballet and contemporary, both of which are familiar to Houser, who has four years of dance experience and seven years of gymnastics.

“Her gymnastic ability allows her to do many things in the show,” said director Mr. Mark Bommarito. “She is doing
something really exciting.”

Houser has two solos; the first will occur during her initial appearance in the show, while the second will happen when she drinks poison.

“I can’t wait to see Julia in the show,” said Rachel Hanks ’14. “I know she will be amazing.” —Judy Lee

Playing a dog in “Peter Pan” is harder than you might think

When I found out the spring play was going to be “Peter Pan,” I knew I had to try out.

I have always obsessed about dogs. “Peter Pan” was one of my many favorite Disney movies as a child because I had a fascination with the dog Nana. I loved “101 Dalmatians” just because there were so many puppies.

Anyway, I decided to try out for the role of Nana because I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. I wasn’t quite sure how to approach auditioning to be a dog, so I planned to channel my dogs.

I have two dogs — a yellow Labrador named Bodie who is 10 pounds overweight and painfully lazy, but the most lovable dog ever. I also have a Treeing Walker Coonhound named Porter that is not only hyper but is convinced he is human. Porter loves to make uninterrupted eye contact whenever he meets a new person and his facial expressions are sometimes alarmingly human.

Although Porter’s expressions contribute to how I play Nana, Bodie’s slow sideways walk (as his belly shifts from side to side), and his other lovable dog characteristics are what I have chosen to focus on.

When Bodie gets impatient (such as when he is waiting for his dinner) he slowly nudges me with his head and then mournfully looks up at me as if he is starving. When Bodie is anxious or happy, he stands in place and sways back and forth, shifting his weight from one shoulder to the other.

Getting the role of Nana has made me look at all of the small details of dog behavior. I used to frequently watch “The Dog Whisperer,” and knowledge from that show has helped me see what Nana sees.

The Darling family has no true “pack master,” so Nana feels it is her duty to care for the children. Although I may need to buy some kneepads for crawling around on all fours, I look forward to appearing in the play. —Kacey Benson

Cast of “Peter Pan” prepares for performances

The cast of this year’s spring production “Peter Pan” is involved in more than acting — they are also making their own costumes, props and even creating small roles.

“I got to be anyone I wanted to be because my character doesn’t have any lines or descriptions in the old script,” said Rachel Tan ‘14.

The play is derived directly from the original first shown in 1902 in Scotland, way before the Disney movie or the musical adaptation of “Peter Pan.” The original stage play, “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up,” was first published by James M. Barrie, who wrote about a young boy and his magical adventures in Neverland.

After a month of rigorous rehearsals, Gracie Raymond ‘13 found the key to playing the little boy Peter Pan, a character who seemed to be the opposite of who she is.

“Playing Peter is like finding the child-like wonder that we all used to have and eventually lost,” said Raymond. “It has been such a great experience because I get to focus on having fun and that is all Peter wants to do.”

Although only four roles are meant for girls, Tologs will take over all the male roles as well. Nichola Marick ‘13 doesn’t have a problem playing the two male roles of Hook and Mr. Darling.

“At first I was a little scared because I have never had two major speaking roles at the same time,” said Marick. “But then I realized that Mr. Darling doesn’t have too many lines so I at least have a balance between Captain Hook and Mr. Darling.”

Director Mr. Mark Bommarito has also incorporated the four Dominican pillars into the production by reaching out to organizations such as Foster House, a nonprofit agency that supports children through adoption. He has offered the children within these organizations free seats to the show.

“Since Peter Pan is a children’s show, I hope the kids will enjoy it,” said Mr. Bommarito. —Judy Lee


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