Theatre to roll out James and the Giant Peach

Spring Valley High School’s theatre will take a new spin on Roald Dahl’s  classic, “James and the Giant Peach” by casting a female lead to play James. The performance will span from March 22 to March 24, 2017.

Theatre teacher and Director Anthony Coffield plans on putting on a huge production of David Wood’s adaptation of the book. Wood’s script, although not a musical, is full of big story lines and laughs.

“James and the Giant Peach” was published in 1961 and inspired the movie and musical under the same name.

The play will tell the story of a lonely orphan boy who lives with his greedy, inhumane aunt’s, Spiker and Sponge. James meets a mysterious old man who gives him a bag of green worms that he says can do magnificent things. James runs home and in all of his excitement he drops the bag at the base of an old peach tree. Next thing he knows, there is giant peach, which he crawls inside.

To his surprise, James meets huge insects inside the peach who take him on many adventures.

Despite modern audience’s fixation on musical’s Coffield insisted that the performance is best done in a traditional play format.

“Now that our culture is drowned through media, no one wants to sit through a play, now they want a fancy funny musical,” Said Coffield of his choice for their performance.

Further defying norms on stage, Senior Brooke Nixon, a female actress at Spring Valley High School, has taken on the role as “James.” The decision was a unique one for Spring Valley theatre, but allows students to explore all realms of acting, within and outside of gender norms.

“Taking on a male role is actually a really huge honor to me, probably more than it should be,” said Nixon. “It makes me more of a privileged actress because not many can say they’ve played a male lead. As for affecting my acting, I think it’s really widened my range.”

Coffield is also planning on making the set better than it has ever been by recreating the huge peach on stage.

“The stage is going to be a rotating platform that will include view of the city, James’ aunt’s house, and the inside of the peach,” said, stage manager, Emily Sanbourne. “The play is going to be very audience interactive. We are going to have signs for the audience telling them how to react instead of letting them sit there.”

Though the theatre department has taken on many large undertakings, these season’s set is unlike anything they’ve done before.

“It’s a challenge but I’m glad to be apart of it” said Dadreon Presley. “I’ll make this something to remember.”

Between actors, tech workers and students planning to attend, one this is certain: great enthusiasm.

“This is going to be the best play we are going to produce this year,” said, Backstage Manager, Jessica Lancaster, agreed.

The play’s cast includes: Brooke Nixon as James, Anastasia Lutz as Old-Green Grasshopper, Danielle Trudel as Miss Spider, Adrian Rezvani as Centipede, Elena Torres as Ladybug, Nicklaus Yoo as EarthWorm, Alyssa Henkel as New york Tour Guide/ Old women/ Octo, Brianna Young as Aunt Sponge/ octo, Nicole Boeddeker as Aunt spiker/ Octo, Olivia Robinson as Tv Reporter/ First Officer/ Octo, Alyssa Boughton as Second Officer/ Mr. Trotter/ Octo, and Alexandra Lagunas as Mrs. Trotter/Captain of the Queen Mary/ Octo.