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Peter Pan Lands on Newtown High School Stage

In rehearsal at Newtown High School for the classic “I Won’t Grow Up” were (left to right) Julia Bogdanoff, Madi Aug, Kyle Watkins, Charles Romano, Jeff Haylon, Kelsey Nicholson, Michelle Zarifis, fronted by Victoria Madden as Peter Pan
In rehearsal at Newtown High School for the classic “I Won’t Grow Up” were (left to right) Julia Bogdanoff, Madi Aug, Kyle Watkins, Charles Romano, Jeff Haylon, Kelsey Nicholson, Michelle Zarifis, fronted by Victoria Madden as Peter Pan

After last year’s smashing success of Newtown High School’s musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which won a national honor for its lead actor, where could the program go but… up?


This year’s musical, Peter Pan, running March 20-23, brings the theater program to new heights, literally. Professional equipment will be brought in to bring the magic of the Peter Pan story to life on the Newtown High School stage.


This technology will create a professional theater experience for the audience, and, perhaps more importantly, for the students.


“The other goal of the program is to incorporate newer, more complex technical equipment into the production,” says director Jane Matson. “It is imperative that our students have the opportunity to experience these tools before moving into the theatre industry.”


All of this means that the theatre department is seeking corporate sponsors to defray the cost of the flying technology as well as the additional equipment to upgrade lighting fixtures and building materials, to prepare students who go into theater as a profession. For more information about becoming a corporate sponsor at the Spotlight Level ($3,000-$5,000), Cue Light Level ($1,000-$2,999) or Footlight Level ($500-$999), please contact Director Jane Matson at matsonj@newtown.k12.ct.us.


There is also a fundraising website set up at http://www.gofundme.com/6b741k for smaller donations, which are all welcome.


More than 75 students appear in the cast, including junior Victoria Madden as the eternal youth himself and a cadre of ballerinas, including senior Lauren Russo as Tinkerbell, on pointe. Rounding out the leads are CJ Landgrebe as Captain Hook, Kirsten Liniger as Tiger Lily, and Lexi Tobin and Jeff Haylon as Wendy and John, respectively.

(Full cast list at: http://www.nhschorus.com/musical.html)


Adding to the excitement, the pit orchestra, recently named the best in the state, led by music director Brett Bowles and NHS band director Kurt Eckhardt as pit instructor, will accompany the show. The student technical crew will be led again by Mitchell Girgasky.


Evening performances will take place Thursday-Saturday, March 20-22, with a matinee Sunday, March 23 and a special open dress rehearsal for senior citizens on Wednesday, March 19.


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