CORNWALL, Ontario – The Seaway Valley Theatre Company will soon be taking their audiences to a magical land – Neverland, to be exact – when the curtain opens up on its upcoming production of Disney’s Peter Pan.
“It’s a timeless story of growing up,” said the show’s director, Melanie Samis. “It’s that moment in your life between being a child and being an adult, and having to assume your responsibilities.”
The cast includes 38 of the most talented young performers in the area.
Playing the iconic Peter Pan, is newcomer to the company, Cullen MacNaughton, from Glengarry District High School.
“It was difficult to cast Peter,” said Samis, who would have considered casting a girl, in the role, as it has been done, many times. “It’s not easy to find a teenage boy who can sing and has this kind of carelessness, spontaneity. There’s got to be lightness to him.”
“He is a natural on stage; he has fun with it,” she said. No matter what we’re doing, he’s game to try anything.”
In the role of Wendy, is Sarah Caddell, who is no stranger to SVTC audiences, appearing in such roles as Ariel, from The Little Mermaid. “She has a beautiful singing voice; she sings two lullabies, you get lost when she opens her mouth.”
“The chemistry between (Sarah and Cullen, who know each other from school), is great.”
Rounding out the cast, are Ethan Gilmour, as John; Tyler St Germain, as Michael; Kinnon Lajoie, as Tinkerbelle; and over 30 supporting characters and chorus members, sure to create a palpable energy on the Aultsville Theatre stage.
In the music director’s seat is Stephanie St-Louis, who also worked on Aladdin and The Little Mermaid with the company.
Most of the music is upbeat and recognizable, said Samis, who is also wearing the choreographer’s hat, with numbers such as Following the Leader and Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life For Me.
For Samis, it’s a full-circle moment to be at the helm of the show, having started out, in theatre, as a 12 year old, in a Glen Productions production of My Fair Lady, with her family, who are also working on this show.
Samis would go on to major in theatre, at Ottawa University, and now teaches English at L’Heritage, with hope of getting a theatre program going, there, in the future.
“This is a high-energy, fast-paced show, filled with songs, dance a lot funny parts. It has a nice little message for children and adults. It’s ok to grow up, just don’t lose that young soul.”
Seaway Valley Theatre Company’s production of Peter Pan runs December 6 and 7, at Aultsville Theatre, at 1:30pm. Tickets for all shows are now available online at Admission.com or the Cornwall Civic Complex box office.