Flying through the PAC

Tiger Theatre Company prepares for Peter Pan


Jasmine Stark

Director Lisa Newton explains directions for a scene from the Spring musical, Peter Pan. The cast and crew began preparations in November.

Story by Ruth Heinemann, staff writer

The Tiger Theatre Company is taking on new challenges in this year’s musical “Peter Pan.” In January 2020, Peter will fly through the John Thomas Theatre, Wendy will tell stories and Hook will seek revenge. Technical challenges and a cast of 90 students require intense rehearsals, but they also indicate a memorable show.

“This musical means a lot to me. Not only because it’s my senior show, but it’s also the first musical I’m stage managing which is really exciting,” stage manager Nadia Fryer said. “It’s just a high stakes and really tech heavy show that I’m really excited about.”

The rehearsal process started in November and the cast and crew is looking forward to a few months of intense rehearsals. Since everything in the musical goes with music, putting together acting, blocking and music is challenging.

“Every time I audition, I just get really nervous, especially when it’s a part that I really want. But I just tried my hardest and it really paid off. I’m very excited about the opportunity,” junior Cate Rounds, who’s cast as Peter Pan, said. “I’m going to do a lot of singing and acting up in the air, that’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The musical “Peter Pan” has had a long history since it first premiered in 1904. Over the last century it has become a high school classic, which is why so many schools have chosen to do this musical. There have also been multiple adaptations, such as the 1991 movie “Hook” or the play “Peter and the Starcatcher.”  Even though there are so many, every version is different in its own way which makes every production exciting. In fact, the director for the Tiger Theatre Company, Lisa Newton, has done “Peter Pan” before and it is still one of her favorites.

“Peter Pan is just a great musical. It has something for everyone, no matter what age you are,” Newton said.

One of the most unique aspects about the show is that it will feature a system that allows some of the characters to fly, which is a premiere for our thespians. It will be a challenge, since it has not been done before in Texas High’s theatre, but the technical director and the actors are excited for this unique opportunity.

“Nobody here is trained or certified to be flying people and that can be a potentially dangerous thing to do. So that is why we are hiring a company called FOY. They have done thousands of productions of Peter Pan all across the country,” technical director Trent Hanna said. “They set up and test their rigging hardware and train a local crew of people how to it.”                                             

Senior Addison Cross has a special connection with this musical since “Peter Pan” was a big part of her childhood. This will also be her last musical at the Tiger Theatre Company which is emotional for her after being involved in theatre for several years.

“For my fourth birthday party I dressed up as Wendy. As a kid I had this blue night gown that I would wear all the time, pretending like I was Wendy Darling just because I loved her so much,” Cross said. “So to be able to actually play her in real life is so surreal. And especially that it’s my last musical makes it so much more special.”

It is going to be a big production with a cast of almost 100 people and the first time having a fly system in the Sullivan Performing Arts Center. The cast and crew are looking forward to a total of three shows and opening night on January 24, 2020.

 “The reason people should come to see [the musical] is to see people flying in Texarkana, which is hardly ever done here and certainly not in a high school production,” Hanna said.