Rising Stars theater students present Peter Pan, Jr.

June 20, 2016

The Rising Stars Theatre Camp is presenting Peter Pan, Jr. in a free public performance on Wednesday, June 29 at 2 p.m. in the Stevens High School auditorium, 600 N Ellison Drive.

Seventy five students from nine middle and high schools have been attending the day-long theatre camp for the past three and a half weeks under the direction of choir and theatre teachers. Participating schools are Holmes, Jay, and Stevens high schools and Jones, Neff, Pease, Rayburn, Ross, and Zachry middle schools.

Approximately 65 students will take on performing roles this year, with another 10 backstage supporting the show with props, costumes, lighting, and set design. It’s a quick production schedule that challenges all involved.

This is the sixth year for the Rising Stars summer camp theatre program which is a collaboration between the Fine Arts and State and Federal Programs departments.

“Everything worn on stage, all props, acting, singing, technology, is a result of great teaching and incredible student learning,” says Fine Arts Director James Miculka. “For the first time in some students' lives, they have learned how to sew fabric, use hand tools, project their voice with articulation, or even stand on stage in front of large groups of people. Incredible ‘life skills’ are acquired by the students in our Title I schools through this program.”

Jay Science & Engineering Academy senior Emmanuel Martinez has been part of the Rising Stars program for five years and hopes audiences will be impressed with the caliber of work from a young, but talented, group of mostly middle school students.

“I’m going to miss, honestly everything about Rising Stars, but especially the progress that a great group can make in a short amount of time,” Martinez says. “Here you learn to mix fun and hard work.”

Martinez portrays the Chief Indian, and though he’s not on stage for many scenes, he’s enjoying the behind the scenes work with the other actors portraying Indians, because he knows he serves as a role model for those new to Rising Stars.

“I’m really proud of my work here because it shows my dedication and that the directors know I’m able to lead a group of people,” Martinez says.

Previous productions included Beauty and the Beast Jr., Aladdin Jr., The Little Mermaid Jr., Alice in Wonderland Jr., and Suessical, Jr.