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Connellsville Junior High to present "Peter Pan Jr."

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Lori C. Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Producer/Director Ben Haines (center) is surrounded by the newly chosen cast of 'Peter Pan Jr.,' the spring musical which will be presented by Connellsville Junior High Performing Arts. Disney's 'Peter Pan Jr.' is a modern version of the timeless tale about a boy who wouldn't grow up and the adventures he takes three lucky children on. Portraying Peter Pan, Cayla Vincent (top center) interacts with other members of the cast; Sydney Sepkovic (Tinkerbell), Angelina Brady (Wendy), Maddie Cramer (Hook), Nathan Stefano (Michael), Taylor Mickey (Smee) and Parker Caster (John). 'Peter Pan Jr.' will be performed in the Connellsville Junior High School High Auditorium on April 4, 5 and 6.
By Nancy Henry
Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 6:24 p.m.

The musical theater department at Connellsville Junior High School, CenterStage, will be performing Disney's “Peter Pan Jr.” this spring.

This classic is a favorite of children and adults of all ages and designed for middle-school aged performers.

“Peter Pan Jr.” is the story of the boy who wouldn't grow up and the girl who has to. After finding his shadow in the Darling family nursery, Peter teaches Wendy, Michael and John how to fly and sweeps them off to Never Land, where they meet Lost Boys, mermaids, Indians and, of course, pirates. If the children are ever to return home, Peter must defeat Captain Hook with the help of Tinker Bell and her fairy friends.

“Peter Pan Jr.” features classic songs from the 1953 film such as, “You Can Fly!,” “Following the Leader” and “The Second Star to the Right” as well as songs from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride and the 2008 Disney film “Tinker Bell.”

CenterStage is produced and directed by Benjamin Haines. Also on the production staff for this show will be Marilee McFadden, music director; Katie Cline and Kristy Detar, choreographers; Korey Detar, stage manager and Callie Garlick, director's assistant. There is also a large group of parent volunteers who will be assisting with this show's production.

“Peter Pan Jr.” is based on the play by J.M. Barrie and the 1953 Disney film.

Haines is excited to be directing this show.

“I'm really looking forward to directing another great Disney classic. This story has been around for over 100 years and I think the longevity, in part, is due to the relevance of the concept of Never Land. You see, Never Land can be anything in your imagination that you want it to be. It can be any place you want to go, with any people you want to be with. It's the innate imagination that's in all of us that makes this story relatable to us. I'm looking forward to seeing my students find their own Never Land and bring it to life through the production of this show.” Haines said.

“These seventh and eighth-grade CenterStage students are very enthusiastic about this production. They will work hard to make this performance very professional. The audience will want to see it more than once, I'm sure,” said McFadden about the 90-minute musical.

“This is an exciting year for CenterStage. We have some returning students who are in eighth grade now that were so impressive in our show last year. They are very happy about getting back on stage and performing again and I'm sure they won't be holding anything back this year. They are ready to make this our best show ever. I'm also looking forward to working with the kids that have never been in a musical before. I find great enjoyment in seeing them get ‘bitten by the theater bug' for the first time. Seeing their excitement when they experience the exhilaration of performing on stage for the first time, that makes it all worth it for me. I know this great cast of students will make this an incredible production,” said Haines.

“Peter Pan Jr.” will be performed April 4-6 at the Connellsville Junior High School auditorium. Tickets will go on sale in March.

Nancy Henry is a contributing writer.

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