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Colfax High walking the plank

Drama department presents ‘Peter Pan’
By: Marci Seither, Colfax Record Correspondent
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What happens when you mix a class of talented actors, a large technical support crew, an inspiring director and a hand full of pixie dust? A magical production of “Peter Pan” where unexpected things happen and flying is as real as believing in fairies. Local residents don’t need to travel to “the second start to the right” — they can experience the timeless children’s classic at the Colfax Performing Art Center starting Nov. 11. “It is not about who is the best actor, but who best fits the role,” said John Deaderick, drama teacher at Colfax High School. “This is a large cast and out of the 38, seven are first-time students. We are really excited about being able to do something we have never done here at Colfax before. We are going to learn how to fly, which brings a whole new set of challenges.” One of those who will be taking to the sky is Italian foreign exchange student, Giorgia Ricciotti. “When I found out I was going to be Tinker Bell I was like…Oh my God! I came to America and now I am flying!” exclaimed the petite senior. “This is so exciting for me. I love this school.” Ricciotti will be adding colorful intonation to the popular pixie by speaking her lines in Italian. “It is a blast,” said Daniel Cassilagio who is very convincing in his roles as Captain Hook and Mr. Darling. “Mr. Deaderick is a brilliant director. There is so much staging and moveable props involved. I really love that he has included everyone in this play.” While Cassilagio has all of his lines memorized the hardest part of his role was learning the well-choreographed fight scenes. “You have to keep in mind that you are going to be fighting with someone who is flying so you can’t just stand anywhere. It is very precise,” said the sophomore. For many on the cast the hours of rehearsing are well worth the effort. “I have never wanted a role as bad as I wanted to play Wendy,” said senior, Katie Sanders. “On a scale of one to 10, this is a 10. It is a very united cast and we all work together because there are such distinct parts.” Among the parts involved in the two-hour drama are mermaids, pirates, lost boys, and the Darling family all of which require different costumes. The talent behind creating the cast of wardrobes is senior Shelby Pujol. “I have had to use everything I know about costume design into this one production,” said Pujol. Captain Hook and the crocodile are the only rented costumes out of the whole cast. Keven Westphal, who plays the loveable watchdog Nana, is also getting some help with his costume from his grandmother. “I am behind the curtain helping with outfits,” said Pujol who has her sight set on a career in fashion and costume design. “But, I would love to be where I could see the expressions on the kids faces when they see Peter really fly.” While many of the audience is captivated at what goes on during the play, it is the countless hours of work and innovation that take place behind the scenes to make the production possible as well as practical. Tyler Bourget and Steven Garcia are among the tech crew members who have learned a lot under the tutelage of tech instructor Erin Beatie. “Mr. “D” wanted to retain the magical feel of the story,” said Bourget who recently worked on the Dracula set. “We had to make all of the background appear from the overhead scaffolding as well as make windows and fireplaces that were light enough to move, yet sturdy enough to stand on.” “Plus,” added Garcia. “we wanted to use everyday objects in the prop construction, including an old bathtub. Many of us will also be backstage working as flyers.” The ground crew as well as the cast will be well versed in the art of flying after Flying by Foy sets up the customized rigging. The Las Vegas based company has a 50-year history of flying people including Mary Martin in the 1954 Broadway production of “Peter Pan.” For Colfax High School and the audience, this will be a new adventure that be remembered long after the curtain closes. __________ “Peter Pan” When: 7 p.m. Nov. 11-13, 18-20; 2 p.m. Nov. 13 and Nov. 20 Where: Colfax High School, 24995 Ben Taylor Road Cost: $10 adults, $5 students Info: (530) 346-2289, ext. 2142, www.colfaxpac.org