Fly away to Neverland |

Fly away to Neverland

Cassie Pence
Vail Daily/Preston UtleyThe main cast of Peter Pan take part in a dress rehearsal at the Ford Amphitheater in Vail on Monday.

No one wants to grow up. That’s why we all moved to the mountains. And that’s why the tale of “Peter Pan” still captivates children and adults, alike.Children’s Theatre School is performing the childhood classic by James M. Barrie today and Monday at 7 p.m. at the Ford Amphitheater. The Children’s Theatre School is a four-week intense acting workshop. Children have to try out to gain admittance.”In the whole experience, every day they learn the technique of drama and the craft of acting. They develop relationships with other actors, learn to write a play and even write the radio commercial for the performance. The kids also learn things like how to organize costumes, because “not everyone ends up being an actor,” Gretta Assaly, director, said.The choice of performance was an easy one for Assaly, considering “Peter Pan” celebrates his 100th birthday this year.

“There are certain shows that people not only love to watch, but love to perform in as well,” Assaly said. “‘Peter Pan’ is one vehicle of the imagination that has gone through decades of entertaining people.”The theater school’s rendition is particularly special. It not only includes local children, but their parents and families as well. Parents, sisters and brothers were recruited to fill certain roles like Captain Hook, his cohorting pirates and the lost children.Anna Tedstrom, who plays Tootles, one of the lost children, directed her dad’s audition tape. Armed with swashbuckling spatulas, John Tedstrom landed the role of Captain Hook.”It’s all about the kids,” John said. “This play is all Anna talks about every day, and I wanted to be a part of that.”John is returning to the stage after 21 years.

“It’s kind of like riding a bike,” John said.He was a volunteer actor for the Shakespeare Theater Festival and acted in high school and college. But for some of the parents, this is the first time they’ve stepped foot on stage.”I learned how much fun it can be to work with my daughter,” said Eagle Valley Elementary school teacher Scott Pell, whose daughter Maddie plays Mrs. Darling. “I also learned that theater is not as fearsome as I thought it would be.”The lessons the kids learn are even more priceless.”I learned not to argue with the director,” said Jamie Overcash, whose father is also Captain Hook and his sister plays Slightly, a lost child.

“You don’t want to be upstaged,” Anna said.”It’s a lot of teamwork,” Cooper Siegel of Denver said. “And even with the little parts you should build up the character and make it the best you can.”The workshop takes up most of the children’s summer, but none of them seem to mind. All of the children enjoy being part of a theater family. It teaches them confidence and how to support one another. Just like the dream of never growing up, Assaly’s direction leads the children on the path of fulfilling their dreams.”During the beginning of Children’s Theatre we sat around in a circle and had to say what we wanted our future job to be,” Jillian Honey Kiss, who plays Wendy, said. “And all the kids said Broadway or Hollywood, and that’s the same for me.”Tickets are $15 for adults and $6 for kids. For more information, call Diana Honey Kiss at 476-3631.

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