On Friday January 19 and Saturday, January 20, Riverside School will put on its annual school musical for its student and parent community. This year’s production will be “Peter Pan” the classic tale by J.M. Barrie, that tells the story of a free-spirited and adventurous young boy who can fly and never grows up.
The play is produced by a committee of eight parent volunteers, with an ensemble of 70 students in 4th and 5th grade.
Josue Jasmin Productions, a local theater production company, provides a director and musical coordinator for the show, but all the costumes, props, and set elements are orchestrated by the parent volunteer committee.
Rehearsals are held daily for two weeks with a focus on learning dance moves, memorizing lines, and getting students ready for the performance.
In its 20th year of production, previous years’ productions include The Lion King, Beauty & The Beast, and The Little Mermaid. “With each class play, students gain confidence performing for an audience and become more comfortable speaking in public,” said Christopher Weiss, Principal, Riverside School. “Plays provide wonderful opportunities for creative expression and collaboration, as well as teaching students valuable lessons about cooperation and teamwork that resonate long after the play is over.”
Leading up to the play, Riverside challenged all students to read the Peter Pan story as part of a school wide, shared summer reading experience. Several different, age appropriate versions of the book were offered at the school’s spring book fair, and themes from the story were incorporated into the curriculum throughout the fall. The play will culminate the school’s Peter Pan experience in next weekend’s performance.
“The play gives students who have an interest in theater a way to explore that avenue, while also providing an opportunity for all students to get involved,” said Weiss. “Whether you are the lead actor, a stage hand, or simply there to watch and enjoy the show, the play gives opportunity for participation at multiple levels, and promotes a community environment at the school.”
Performances will be held on Friday and Saturday for parents and family members of the students.