Musical challenges cast

Students perform in Peter Pan

Kiana Smith stars as Peter Pan in Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts presentation of the classic children’s story at Malaspina Theatre Friday and Saturday (May 6-7).

A performing arts academy known for its ballet productions is presenting a musical about a boy who refuses to grow up.

Kirkwood Academy presents Peter Pan at the Malaspina Theatre Friday and Saturday (May 6-7).

Musical theatre director Donna Wilkins, who has been teaching at Kirkwood Academy for 18 years, wanted to find a challenging musical that involved a large cast of varying ages.

“We have over 100 kids in our popular musical theatre program, ranging in age from five to 18, so we needed to select a musical that could showcase all of our amazing singers, actors and dancers,” she said.

Peter Pan, originally penned by J.M. Barrie, tells the story of a boy who can fly and lives in a place called Neverland. He never grows up, preferring to lead the Lost Boys as they interact with mermaids, fairies and pirates.

Playing Peter is Kiana Smith, 14, who is trained in dance, gymnastics, voice and acting.

“I always like to adapt the musical to fit the skills that each actor brings,” Wilkins said.

Next month, Smith will represent the Upper Island Musical festival in junior musical voice at the provincial performing arts festival in Kamloops.

The show begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, with two showings at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Tickets $17.50; $13/children under 12 and available through the Port Theatre ticket centre at 250-754-8550.

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