Entertainment

A little bit of pixie dust at East Oxford as school's biennial production is Disney's Peter Pan Jr.

By Jennifer Vandermeer, Norwich Gazette/IngersollTimes

Peter Pan, played by Mason Blancher, centre, gets a “lift” from Maggie Nichol, centre left, and Rachael Couwenberg during one of the early rehearsals for Peter Pan Jr., this year's production involving staff and students at East Oxford Central Public School. John, played by Noah Paulsen, and Michael, played by Alexis Vanderspek, watch the move.

Peter Pan, played by Mason Blancher, centre, gets a “lift” from Maggie Nichol, centre left, and Rachael Couwenberg during one of the early rehearsals for Peter Pan Jr., this year's production involving staff and students at East Oxford Central Public School. John, played by Noah Paulsen, and Michael, played by Alexis Vanderspek, watch the move.

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With a little faith, trust and pixie dust, East Oxford public school staff and students have launched into this school year's production of Peter Pan Jr.

Though the public performances are not until just before March Break, the cast has been chosen and work has begun on rehearsals – with choreography and vocal performances taking the spotlight.

In the main role as Peter Pan is Mason Blancher, who played Mowgli in the school's previous production of The Jungle Book. He is one of about 30 students who have roles in the Disney story.

There's a lot of rehearsal time involved, said Kathy Ellis, the teacher who oversees the production with the support of her colleagues at the school.

Another 12 students are part of the behind-the-scenes crew that will help with sound and lighting.

“It takes this whole school for it to run,” said Ellis. “It creates community, making everyone feel a part of this.”

Ellis said Peter Pan Jr. was selected for this year because organizers were looking for a production that another school had done in order to borrow costumes, since making them for a production can be expensive. The selection committee also liked the music of Peter Pan.

East Oxford stages a full theatrical production every other year.

“It's just so encompassing, it takes so much time and energy,” said Ellis.

The first official performance will be one for the staff and students on March 5, followed by two day-time shows March 6, and evening performances on March 7 and 8. Ticket sales information will be available closer to that time.

Ellis said though not a huge fundraiser, the ticket sales help to offset the cost of the rights to use the play and any equipment rental for things such as lights. Any profit that might occur goes back into the music program at the school.