Peter Pan and Wendy takes flight at Searcy High

Carol Rolf/Contributing Writer Published October 16, 2016 at 12:00 a.m.
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Carol Rolf / Contributing Photographer

Searcy High School will present Peter Pan and Wendy on Thursday and Saturday at the Searcy High School Performing Arts Center. Among the cast members are, from left, Nathan Sawyer as Starkey, Connor Fredieu as Smee, Addison Harbour as Captain Hook, Carlos Chenna as Noodler, Eden Ballew as Peter Pan, Jamie Hall as Wendy, Caleb Raper as John and Rayne Sardin as Michael.

— The community is invited to Neverland, where Peter Pan vows he’ll never grow up, and Captain Hook can’t seem to outrun the “tick-tock” of the crocodile.

Searcy High School will present the timeless tale Peter Pan and Wendy, adapted by Doug Rand from the novel by J.M. Barrie, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday at the Searcy High School Performing Arts Center, 301 N. Ella Drive in Searcy. Doors will open at 6 each night.

Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for senior citizens, members of the military and children younger than 5. Advance tickets are available online at shspeterpan.eventbrite.com or by calling (501) 207-3745 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets will also be available at the door.

“There will be flying,” said Mandy Taylor, high school drama teacher and director of the upcoming show, which she said is the play, not the musical. “This is the first time since 2000 that we have had flying in a show.

“We are working with Flying by Foy out of Las Vegas. We will have six characters who fly: Peter Pan, Wendy, John, Michael, Never Bird and Tinker Bell. We also have several members of our crew as designated ‘flight attendants’ who will help with the flying.”

Taylor said that for the majority of the play, the character of Tinker Bell is just a light.

“But we have cast that character, and she appears at the beginning of the show and after the intermission,” Taylor said.

Taylor said there are about 60 students involved with the show, some as cast members and others as crew members.

“We have students from all grades, nine through 12,” she said.

Taylor said the drama department usually has two productions during the school year.

“We present a musical every other year,” she said. “In the fall of each year, we present something that appeals more to children, … something that’s lighthearted. Then in the spring, we do a drama.

“I ultimately choose our productions but ask for ideas from the students. We always try to present something we think will appeal to the community, … something that will be well received.”

Peter Pan and Wendy is a full-length play with one intermission.

“It will be fun for the whole family,” said Taylor, who is a 1995 graduate of Searcy High School. She holds an associate degree from Arkansas State University-Beebe; a Bachelor of Arts degree and an initial teaching certification in English from the University of Central Arkansas; and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree and additional theater and oral communications teaching certification from Harding University. Taylor also took some theater courses toward her theater certification at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville.

Cast members in Peter Pan and Wendy include the following:

• The Darling Household: Wendy, played by Jamie Hall; John, played by Caleb Raper; Michael, played by Rayne Sardin; Mrs. Darling, played by Bailey Baker; Mr. Darling, played by Tremere Shell; Liza, played by Julia Mansur; and Nana, played by Riley Allen.

• The Lost Boys: Peter Pan, played by Eden Ballew; Tootles, a skunk, played by Calista Runyan; Nibs, a rabbit, played by Emma Porter; Twin 1, Pots, played by Stormey Morton; Twin 2, Pans, played by Garret Adkins; Slightly, played by Denny Barker; and Curly, a bear, played by Lauren Brown.

• Pirates: Captain Hook, played by Addison Harbour; Smee, played by Conner Fredieu; Starkey, played by Nathan Sawyer; Jukes, played by Brooke Brant; Cecco, played by Lily Burger; Mullins, played by Trey Brackenridge; Noodler, played by Carlos Chenna; and Cookson, played by Ethan Cantrell. Cori Vehlies also plays a pirate.

• Tiger Lily is played by Cameron Simmons.

• Indians: Andrea Keech; Miraya Gerardo, who also plays Never Bird; Samantha Meidell; and Pallas Manley.

• Kelsey Sherwood plays the crocodile, Lauren Brown plays Jane, and Jalynn Barker plays Tinker Bell.

• Kelsey McPherson is a member of the ensemble.

• Mermaids: Chloe Long, Victoria Cook and Cassidy Tipps.

Members of the crew include the following:

• Hannah Hall, student director;

• Julia Mansur, assistant student director, light-board operator and publicity chairman;

• Griffen Birdsong, technical director, ticket chairman, light technician and flight attendant;

• Kaytlin Rector, stage manager;

• Madison Whitsett, assistant stage manager and member of the set crew;

• Kelsey McPherson, house manager and food manager;

• Alexis Foster, program chairman, member of the set crew and a grip;

• Calista Runyan, shop manager;

• Chris Cossitt, a member of the set crew and a grip;

• Peregryn Robbins, a member of the set crew and head grip;

• Ethan Million, sound technician and soundboard operator;

• Carlos Chenna, sound runner;

• Savannah Rose, soundboard operator and also a member of the makeup crew;

• Taqita Irvine, Royce Thompson and Kaylee Wallis, spotlight operators;

• LaCora Hemingway, prop master, prompter and flight attendant;

• Cassidy Tipps and Jalynn Barker, prop crew;

• Pallas Manley, rigging;

• Jamie Hall, costumer;

• Samantha Meidell, assistant costumer;

• Sarah Redd; Kelsey Sherwood, who is also a prompter; Emily Harris; and Riley Allen, all members of the costume crew;

• Victoria Cook and Addison Harbour, company makeup;

• Anna Watson and Peyton Jelks, additional members of the makeup crew;

• Kelsey Sherwood, additional prompter; and

• Andrea Keech, Ariadna Leyva, Cameron Simmons, Hailee Green, Hayley Harlan, Noah Glaze and Destiny Glothlin, additional flight attendants.

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