Local school presents classic tale of Peter Pan

The classic tale of youth and camaraderie, Peter Pan, is being performed by the Kindergarten to Grade 5 students of St. Martin De Porres School.

The public performance of the piece will take on Feb. 12-13th at the Memorial Centre with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

Director of the play and drama teacher at St. Martin De Porres School, Laura De Graff, believes that this classic tale is the perfect fit for her students as it deals with many themes associated with an adolescent’s journey to become adults.

“It’s just one of those iconic stories we as adults and the students participating in the play all know from our childhood,” explains De Graff on why she chose Peter Pan.

“It’s a story that in a way touches us all a bit.”

The well-known tale of Peter Pan, although popularized as a Disney animation, first appeared as a stage play written by J. M Barrie in 1904. Barrie later adapted and expanded the play into a novel in 1911 published as Peter and Wendy.

The heroic tale of the boy who wouldn’t grow up details his adventures with one Captain Hook, a devilish pirate who is determined to exact revenge on Peter Pan for the loss of Hook’s hand to a crocodile.

Pan and his trusty fairy Tinkerbell take Wendy Darling and her brothers off to Never Never Land so that they never have to grow up, and they help him defeat the evil Captain Hook.

The tale wouldn’t be complete without Pan’s trio of the Lost Boys, who assist Peter and Wendy in their adventures.

“The joys and struggles of growing up and the innocence of youth are all portrayed so well through such vibrant characters like the Lost Boys and the pirates,” said De Graff. “With these characters and all of the magic and flying it is just a really captivating story.”

The story depicted in St. Martin De Porres’ production is strikingly similar to the original tale told by Barrie, with a few added twists by Megan Salyn, a teacher at the school who wrote additional scenes. The cast and crew of Peter Pan have been busy preparing for the production since late September.

This musical adaptation also features many well choreographed and sung scenes in a variety of well-made, vibrant costumes.

De Graff, who has always been involved with theatre and the arts believes the benefits of students being exposed to the arts is immense and while she always enjoyed performing, there is no greater joy than watching her students perform.

“I think it is just good to expose kids to the arts in general, it gives them the confidence in themselves by singing, dancing, and taking on a character in front of hundreds of people,” she said. “It is going to give them more of an insight into music, reading, writing and the discipline, and focus that comes from it is immense.”

The students have dedicated lunch recesses, hours after school on weekdays, and many Saturdays to perfect their show and they invite the community to view their contemporary retelling of the classic play.

“They’ve been working so hard on this play and I am so impressed,” said De Graff. “They’ve put in a lot of really hard work and they are all so excited to be a part of the production.”

With epic battles between the pirates and the Lost Boys and laughter-inducing lines delivered by the children, it is a production that is sure to keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

“I really encourage people to come and watch and support the kids because they are so excited to perform for you.”

Tickets are available at the Black Knight Ticket Centre, in person, by phone 403-755-6626, or online at www.bkticketcentre.ca.