Porchlight Players summer camp kids present ‘Peter Pan Jr.’ in Gypsum
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What: Porchlight Players Childrens Summer Theater Camp presents “Peter Pan Jr.”
When: 6 p.m. Friday.
Where: Lundgren Theater Park in Gypsum.
More information: Following the show, there will be a free showing of the movie “Hook.”
GYPSUM — What could be more natural than a group of kids — freshly launched on the wonderful adventure that is summer break — telling the story of eternal childhood?
In the spirit of the notion of never growing up, 39 local kids who are going into grades third through ninth, are putting on their production of “Peter Pan Jr.” as the culmination of the three-week-long Porchlight Players Children’s Summer Theater Camp. The show is a shortened version of the classic musical.
The show will take over the Lundgren Theater stage Friday as part of Gypsum’s Movies and Music series. Following the hour-long production, the town will screen the movie “Hook.”
Director Ann Olin has been staging children’s productions for the past nine summers. The camp costs $325 per participant and offers a six-hour day. Olin noted, however, that no child is turned away because of cost.
It’s only a few days until the curtain (symbolically) rises on the production and traditionally that’s when things can look a little bleak for performance organizers. But Olin laughed, noting that at the conclusion of the second week, she usually has no idea how the kids will be ready for their performance.
“Every year, like clockwork, we have so much to do,” she said. “But it always comes together and the kids make magic happen.”
In the case of this year’s production, making magic happen is a central theme. Olin noted that at the conclusion of the three-week camp, the kids attend a cast party and vote on what play they want to perform the next summer. “Peter Pan” was their clear favorite, and Olin noted the combination of a well-known story, colorful costumes and catchy music will make for a memorable show.
“‘What Make the Brave Man Brave’ is definitely our show-stopper this year,” she said.
On the topic of show stoppers, Olin noted that this year’s performance will be a bit bittersweet because it marks the final performance for nine of the participants. These performers will be entering high school in the fall and aging out of the summer theater camp.
“Some of these kids have done every single show that they could,” she said.
At the same time, Olin noted that this year’s cast is the largest ever. “This year I had to turn away 20 people because we had no more room. But there will be more spots available next year,” said Olin.
In addition to Olin’s direction, Jillian Kiss has stepped up as the show’s assistant director and Lara Silagy of the Eagle Zumba studio did the choreography. As for the performers, the kids are unabashedly enthusiastic about the show.
“We are putting on a play that most people think kids wouldn’t be able to do,” offered one participant.
“Three weeks feels like three days,” offered another. “It’s not like other camps when you cry when you have to go. Here, you cry when you have to leave.”