ANDERSON — The young thespians of White River Christian Home Educators, a local home school co-op, will perform the classic tale of Peter Pan this week at the Mainstage Theater in Anderson.
About 28 students, ages 7 to 12, make up the cast, according to Alicia Fox, co-director of “Peter Pan Jr.”
The play follows Peter Pan, the leader of The Lost Boys, Wendy Darling and a few others as they fly to Neverland. While in Neverland, they encounter the evil Captain Hook, Peter Pan’s archenemy, and his band of pirates.
Neverland is also home to the Brave Girls, who the Lost Boys and others befriend.
“They work together to defeat Captain Hook and the pirates,” director Amanda Trimble said.
During a rehearsal Monday, Tremble instructed the actors to deliver their lines in a way that would convey emotion and help the audience connect with the characters.
“They are able to do acrobatic tricks, they sing, they dance, they remember lines,” Trimble explained.
“They’re able to have a lot of input with their own creativity, adding costume decisions, blocking decisions,” she added. “That’s what’s really cool about this. We’re directors, but they’re also able to have a lot of input.”
In one sequence, the large number of students portraying the Lost Boys enthusiastically insist on not growing up.
“I won’t pinch an ear. I’ll never get a mustache or a fraction of an inch,” sang a group of actors.
Despite their protests, they grow up. For at least six students, Peter Pan will be their last performance for junior drama.
Most of the six enjoyed the community aspect of drama.
“At the end of the day, everyone knows each other so well,” said one actor.