Stories and insights on excellent education.
Fly Away with Peter Pan, Wendy, and the SA Williamsburg cast to Never Never Land
Sadie Pincus – March 10, 2017
Tonight, more than 50 scholars will transport an audience of families and friends to “Never Never Land” for sixty minutes, as they act, sing, and dance in Peter Pan — Success Academy Williamsburg’s first-ever musical performance.
The play is a culmination of many rehearsals I spent helping Captain Hook deliver his lines with pizzaz, ensuring that Tick Tock (the crocodile) had the skateboard she would use to slide across stage, and making costume and set adjustments. No two days are the same in the life of a Success Academy music teacher!
But I truly couldn’t have made this play a reality without the help of our entire SA Williamsburg community. Our parents mobilized to help scholars memorize lines, create incredible sets, and find great costumes — taking full ownership every step of the way.
Five months of rehearsals also proved that when our teachers pool their diverse talents, anything is possible: Several teachers who don’t teach theater or music volunteered to help me direct the play, and our school’s artists even chipped in — Ms. Courville, SA Williamsburg’s art teacher, recruited some her art students to help us paint sets.
In the slideshow below, you will hear from some of our actors, parents, and teachers, to learn more about what went into this amazing performance!
And of course, we hope you’ll join us for our performance of Peter Pan on Friday and Saturday at 6pm at Success Academy Williamsburg’s auditorium. You won’t want to miss it!
SA Williamsburg parent
“The cast has been rehearsing since November and I’ve been volunteering since about January. There’s been so many parent volunteers — my son is playing the character John, but there are parents volunteering without children in the show. There were four of us on the costume committee. We each broke up into different categories for the Lost Boys, Lost Girls, and the Pirates. We found a lot of items online within the school’s budget, and people pulled from their own closets. We made accessories and altered some of the things that we bought to fit everyone. We’ve had a lot of fun. A play is a huge commitment, so my son is learning how to stick with something — it takes a lot of rehearsals before it gets to the exciting part on stage.”
SA Williamsburg parent
“My boys are playing Captain Hook and Tootles. They love theater, so I do my best to support their interests. My son was in a play last year with Ms. Pincus, so when she reached out about helping, I signed on immediately. Ms. Pincus is AWESOME. She’s so talented, and since my kids started at Success with her, they’ve been involved with choir and music. I’ve been managing the Lost Girls, supporting with the costumes, and helping them to know where and when to go if they’re backstage. It’s been a lot of work, but so rewarding to watch everyone learn their lines and see the play come together.”
Kindergarten Lead Teacher, SA Williamsburg
“I teach kindergarten — not theater — but when I heard Ms. Pincus was getting ready to put on the play, I reached out to volunteer. I did theater growing up starting in middle school, and I absolutely loved it. I formed some very strong friendships through theater that have lasted to this day. The community around the theater is so important. To be able to bring that feeling to these kids is amazing. I fill in where I’m needed — I’ve helped Ms. Pincus block scenes, and I’m an extra set of hands for stage management and anything else she needs. I love that I can call on my theater background to help out this production.
Nyaliz Aviles — “Peter Pan”
“When we started auditioning for Peter Pan, I went on YouTube and watched the movie and the play to learn more about my character. Peter Pan, is very adventurous and brave. I like playing a role that’s a lot like me — my friends say, ‘Oh you’re the perfect Peter Pan because you have so much energy!’ It doesn’t look like much because it’s a school play and not a Broadway play, but it takes a lot of hard work. At first, learning my lines was hard, but now I’ve memorized them. Sometimes I have trouble with my cues to know when to enter stage, or if someone arrives late to the scene things get thrown off, but Ms. Pincus helps us. I’m excited to perform on Friday and Saturday.”
Leonardo Lantigua — Stage & Sound Assistant
“Usually when there’s a lot of stuff going on at once, I try to tell the actors where they need to be and I help move sets around the stage. I manage the music soundtrack while Ms. Pincus helps students with learning their lines. To be good at this, you need to patient and a good multitasker because there’s so much happening on stage.”
Jordan Busey — “Captain Hook”
“Captain Hook is bossy, funny, and sometimes angry. For the play, I had to hold a fake poison cake with my hook hand for twenty minutes! It was hard. I practiced my lines with my teachers and my mom. Most of my lines took about two weeks to learn, but I had a monologue to memorize that took me so long — maybe another three weeks. When I perform on stage, I’m happy!”
Nyla Ferdinand — “Wendy”
“Playing Wendy has been a great experience. She’s a really sweet and kind character, and I’m a lot like her in that way, I think. At first it was hard to memorize all my lines, but I love acting and singing. I’ve done acting in my church. It’s been a great experience for me here at Success Academy. Ms. Pincus has taught me to have a big voice and confidence when I sing — she teaches us to believe in ourselves!”
Special education teacher, SA Williamsburg
“When Ms. Pincus said she was doing this show, I asked if I could jump in and help. I did a lot of theater and stagehand work when I was younger and I love the camaraderie of theater. This show has been wonderful. These scholars are learning how to get into character and understand their roles. The rewards of seeing them on stage and developing is incredible. They’ve really become their characters now and sometimes even throw out some improv lines! As a teacher, I educate scholars with special needs. I know some of the kids in the production may sometimes struggle academically, but they’re able to develop and demonstrate other strengths on the stage. It’s been incredible to watch.”