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Student News Site of Ruben S. Ayala High School

Bulldog Times

Ayala theater’s “Peter Pan” was a soaring success

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Stephanie Lyn
As Ayala Theater Company’s fall production comes to an end, here are a few highlights from their recent production of “Peter Pan.” From left to right: Keira Vista (11) as Peter Pan, Izzy Gonzalez (10) as Pans, Leah Ines (10) as Pots, Sophia Esparza (10) as Curly, Maya Shah (11) as Michael Darling, Crystal Haddad (11) as Nibs, Rigby Wright (11) as John Darling, Jacob Tan (11) as Slightly, Michaela Allen (11) as Wendy Darling, Maddy Garcia (11) as Tootles

Ayala Theater Company (ATC) held their first main stage drama production of the school year, Peter Pan on October 26-28 in the multi-purpose room (MPR). With its clever storytelling, extraordinary acting, and realistic production design, the show put a unique spin on the classic fairy tale, cleverly integrating humor and wit into the production that showcased the versatility of a play.

Based on the timeless fairy tale, this stage adaptation of Peter Pan tells the story of a young boy named Peter Pan who never grows old. One night, he appears in a window of a nursery and takes Wendy Darling and her siblings to Neverland to experience the thrill of adventures.

The production starts out when Wendy Darling (portrayed by Michaela Allen (11)) and her two brothers John (portrayed by Rigby Wright (11)) and Michael (portrayed by Maya Shah (11)) meet Peter Pan (portrayed by Keira Vista (11)) who they thought was just a storybook character in Neverland. There, they meet the lost boys and get themselves into a wild quest where they learn the value of family.

But just as a clock can’t function without its gears, this splendid production wouldn’t have been possible without the production designers and its phenomenally talented actors.

As soon as the curtains opened, the audience was immediately transported into the world of Peter Pan, with its mystical ambiance. This was only made possible because the production, tech, and sound designers were a big part of making the fairy tale feel magical. With wonderfully made sets and perfect lighting and sound cues, the production’s atmosphere was lighthearted and comedic, tying that bow perfectly for the foundation of the fairy tale.

Peter Pan greets the Lost Boys when they arrive at Neverland, unaware of what had happened just a few seconds earlier.

The designers’ seamless transitions made it possible to spotlight the actors, who did a splendid job of retelling the fairy tale. Throughout the production, the actors sprinkled in some witty and humorous lines every now and then to get the audience chuckling. Much of the humor in the play focused on the characters’ childish antics in which the audience felt like they could relate to. 

Of course, this production took a lot of time and effort. Both the students and Ayala Theater Company’s teacher and advisor, Mrs. Madeleine Sherratt, spent a lot of their time committed to making this first production of the year the best.

“[Preparation for the fall play] starts all the way back in March of this year when we start doing research for what the fall play is. Then over the summer, we have to do all the really technical things like planning out a calendar for rehearsals, set build, lighting, and sound design. Then [in August] you have to do the auditions and then you have to actually rehearse and build everything and design everything. So a lot goes into it, a lot behind the scenes that people don’t consider,” Sherratt said.

From August all the way to October, from the process of auditions to the final dress rehearsal, the whole cast and crew put their heart into it. They worked hard at their roles and their sets, getting everything perfect for show days.

“It was crazy to take on these roles that were hard to play, being high school students. We really had to dig deep into our childhood and our nostalgia to bring the characters out,” Vista said. “But that’s what theater is. It’s to make other people laugh, to make others feel something that’s indescribable.”

In the end, the cast and crew’s hard work and effort paid off, as the reactions from the audience throughout all four shows were remarkable, filled with laughter and applause.

“I thought it was funny, entertaining, and accurate to the story as it added small, quirky twists to the original story,” an audience member Violet Kowalski (11) said. “It was overall impressive because of the fact that the entire show was produced by students at Ayala without any outside help.” 

Ayala Theater Company’s first production of the year has met great expectations and was rewarding for not only the audience watching the shows, but also for the cast and the crew, whose bonds strengthened.

“If you’re involved in a production at Ayala, you feel like you’re a part of something bigger than a production. And it’s really, really important to me that the students in Ayala theater feel like they’re part of a family,” Sherratt said.

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About the Contributor
Stephanie Lyn, Open Canvas Manager
Stephanie Lyn (11) is a reporter for The Bulldog Times, and this is her 1st year on staff. Stephanie hopes to grow as a writer in the elements of journalism and gain new experience. She looks forward to seeing how Journalism grows as editors and new staff work together to write new articles and improve as a collective body. In addition to being a writer, she is also an officer of Christian Club. She is a Christian and puts her identity in Christ, reflecting His love towards others. In her free time, she loves creative writing, reading, and listening to music–particularly Taylor Swift, and hanging out with friends and family.
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