June 14, 2016
St. Joseph’s School performs Peter Pan at Bishop Kearney
Show times: Friday June 17th 7:00 p.m. and Saturday June 18th 1:00 + 7:00 p.m. at Bishop Kearney
Tickets can be purchased at www:tututix.com/client/dramakids
For the first time ever, Saint Joseph School will produce and perform a fully staged musical at Bishop Kearney with a cast of 46 members, a production team led by local professional theater and musical talent, generous donations from other area Catholic schools, and over 30 parent volunteers.
Rehearsals began in late January and will culminate in three performances on Friday, June 17 (1PM) and Saturday, June 18 (1PM Matinee and 7PM). Rehearsals will move from Saint Joseph School to Bishop Kearney High School Auditorium next week, with the start of technical rehearsals.
Students from Kindergarten through sixth grade have been working together for the last several months to prepare Disney’s Peter Pan, Jr. In January, students were invited to prepare for the audition process with both sung and spoken material. After casting, the 46 member cast met for musical, dialogue, and choreography rehearsals, working with professionals in the performing arts. Although participating as volunteers, these musical and theater pros have held the SJS cast to the highest possible standards, expecting lines memorized and dances learned within a few short weeks. Students have explored character development, and tested their memories with complicated choreography and staging.
Next week, the cast and crew move into the auditorium at Bishop Kearney High School. Principal Jason Simoni and Theater Director Paula Steffen welcomed the group to use the stage for their first theater experience, giving the grammar school cast a real taste of performing on a working stage. Aquinas Principal Ted Mancini helped outfit the Peter Pan cast with access to his school’s extensive wardrobe and costume shop. With this assistance and the diligent work of many SJS parents, the cast will be ready to go as pirates, mermaids, braves, fairies, and more!
The production team working directly with the SJS cast consists of four individuals, bringing various skills and talents. Stage Director Vince Salvadge is no stranger to local audiences, having performed, coached, and directed numerous student and par professional productions. Most notable are his collaborations with Roc City Singers director, singer, and musical theater guru Judith Ranaletta. Choreographer Erika Atkinson is currently teaching at TNT Dance Explosion, but has also performed and taught in the past with other dance groups locally and regionally. Music Director Susan Gividen knows the cast well, as she is the current children’s choir director at Saint Joseph School and Church, and has been connected to the music programming at the school and parish for more than twelve years. Producer Linda Wojciechowski, former Executive Director of the Gregory Kunde Chorale, has extensive experience in managing the planning and execution of staged performances as well as performing herself as soprano soloist locally and regionally.
The cast has enjoyed the experience of Peter Pan for the last months, learning about stagecraft, basic dance steps, and singing as an ensemble. But more importantly, the cast has experienced personal growth and development, while fostering friendships and building relationships. Concepts such as teamwork, personal responsibility and accountability, healthy competition, and working towards a common goal are all areas addressed by this kind of indepth study as a group. SJS plans to incorporate this and other kinds of character building opportunities into every school year, in the hopes of calling forth students’ individual interests and creating school wide unity at the same time.