July 10, 2019

'Peter Pan JR.' is a modern version of J.M. Barrie's 1911 original play, 'Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up.

  Contributed 'Peter Pan JR.' is a modern version of J.M. Barrie's 1911 original play, 'Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up.

MARATHON — Fifty-four brave kids are rehearsing lines for the ethereal stage performance of “Peter Pan JR.” this weekend as part of the Marathon Community Theatre Children’s Summer Theatre Program.

The scene of “I’m Flying” has commanded a lot of set details and has taken a lot of creative thinking, according to co-producer Kara Pascucci.

“Having to come up with a scene like this is the fun part of live theater. I don’t want to give any surprises away, but anyone who sees this play will understand,” said Pascucci, a self-described “musical play nerd.”

Marathon Community Theatre summer program participants rehearse for ‘Peter Pan JR.

“Peter Pan JR.” is a modern version of J.M. Barrie’s 1911 original play, “Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.”

The young actors have worked hard during the six-week “condensed” theater program.

Particularly, 17-year-old Ria Rodriguez has harmonized all the songs as the lead role of Peter Pan.

“We cast her as Peter Pan because she has a great voice. She has put in the work and she sounds amazing,” said Jamie Stevens, who joined the troupe this year as choreographer and a co-producer.

“This is a musical with a lot of dancing. I help stage the actors,” she said. “This program is really cool. I’ve seen quiet little kids completely turn around and get on that stage and have a commanding presence.”

Captain Hook is played by Amber Romance, who just graduated from Marathon High School. This will be her final performance as part of the summer troupe. Pascucci and Romance have been a part of the summer stage program since its beginning in 2012.

“She’s leaving us to go to school in the fall. It’s sad, these kids have to stop growing up so fast,” Pascucci said, a reverberating theme for Peter Pan, a mischievous boy who never grows up.

Tiger Lily, another main character among the eight lead roles, is played by Mia Triosi.

The summer program has grown in leaps and bounds this season.

“This is the largest group so far. We had an unbelievable turnout this year,” Stevens said of the 50-plus enrollees.

‘Peter Pan JR.’ will be presented this weekend and the following Friday at the Marathon Community Theatre playhouse.

“Mostly through word-of-mouth over the last seven years and from friends of friends joining,” she said in explaining the program’s popularity.

“All the actors who are on stage also have a role in the overall production backstage and everyone has worked really hard on this,” Stevens added.

All pitch in with sound effects, lighting, building sets, artwork and the program.

“We break them into groups and work with them,” Stevens said.

The troupe has been meeting twice a week since the end of the school year.

“We’ve been doing a full rehearsal for the last week. These kids have worked really hard. This production is impressive,” Stevens said.

“Peter Pan JR.” is an hour and a half production including intermission. Scheduled performances begin at 7 p.m. Friday, July 12; Saturday, July 13; and Friday, July 19.

Advanced ticket purchase is recommended.

Tickets, which are $10 without sales tax and ticketing fees, are available at the MCT Box Office, 5101 Overseas Highway, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by calling 305-743-0994 or visiting marathontheater.org.