PERU - Although the Adirondack Regional Theatre has been dazzling audiences with their stage performances since 2001, a new collaboration with Peru Music Theatre is expected to put a new spin on the group.
The Peru Music Theatre's upcoming performance of Peter Pan will be produced by the regional theatre group under the name "ART at Peru Music Theatre."
When PMT became too large an activity for students at Peru Central School, a merger was necessary, explained music teacher Pamela Lavin, who also serves as music director for the show.
"There was some new state laws that came out about how activity funds run, so we had to find a different place to keep our funding and ART was available, so instead of incorporating Peru Music Theatre, we just merged with ART," Lavin explained. "It's like an umbrella group."
According to Lavin, the merger was a "natural fit" for all involved.
"There are so many people in the ART group - board members and stage hands and scenery people and actors that do both anyway," she explained.
Lavin was also the one who chose to have Peter Pan as the first collaborative play to be performed.
"We have so many young children in the Peru district who love theater," Lavin said, "so, I was looking for a show that had a lot of children in it and it seemed like Peter Pan was the one that would kind of fit the bill to use our talents of all of our great kids at Peru."
The show - which has a cast of more than 50 actors and many more people behind-the-scenes - has been in preparation for more than a year, and consists of both students from Peru and members of the ART group. However, to truly make the play a success, the group had to find a way to make Peter Pan fly.
Lavin said after they received the rights to perform Peter Pan, they were sent some information about companies who have equipment to fly characters in plays. After some further research, a company from Las Vegas, "Flying the Foy," was chosen. The company, which has been in business for more than 50 years, was also the one chosen to fly Mary Martin in the 1954 Broadway production of Peter Pan and the 1956 televised performance on NBC.
"[The fly technician] loads in and then we have intensive training and dress rehearsal," explained Lavin.
"He can just come and train you then he goes back, but we felt more comfortable to have him stay since we've never done anything like this before, and we just felt more comfortable having the professional on-site the whole time," she added.
The performance of Peter Pan will be held at Peru Central School Thursday, Feb. 26, through Sunday, March 1. Shows will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 at the door or $8 in advance at Peru Health Mart and Chase's Convenience Store, both in Peru; Chase's Cumberland Corners convenience store on State Route 9 in Plattsburgh; and Community Bank N.A.'s State Route 3 and Margaret Street locations, also in Plattsburgh.
"It is a fantastic show and it's so much fun," Lavin said. "Great family fun. I would recommend it. Everybody come out and see it."