Peter Pan flies into Marshall
Pirates, fairies, lost boys and sword fights can all be found in Duluth Marshall School's fall production of "Peter Pan." This production was selected by director David Johnson because it combines students from Marshall's upper and middle schools.
"It is an opportunity to cast a wide range of ages. I was looking for a show that would allow us to combine our middle school and upper school students into a single production to provide an opportunity for these students to collaborate," Johnson said.
For senior Jack Schenk, this show is also an opportunity to take on a larger role, as he tests his villainous acting skills as Captain Hook.
"He's really fun to play because he's very animated, almost cartoon-like. I get to have a lot of fun with his emotions and finding the way he walks and talks," Schenk said.
This is Schenk's first major role. He's had side roles in the school's productions of Annie and Harvey, but didn't have the time in his schedule for theater in the fall. He has experience being a captain as he's the captain of the basketball team and participates in varsity baseball, speech team, and student council.
"Usually I play football too, but we don't have a varsity team this year, so I ran cross country instead and tried out for the fall show. I'm glad I did, it's a good opportunity," Schenk said.
The Pan to Schenk's Hook is played by sixth grader Brendan Friday. This is Friday's first show.
"At first, I didn't think I was going to get Peter Pan because this is the first play I've ever done. But it's fun to play Peter Pan because I get to do the fight scenes," Friday said.
Friday and Schenk practice the choreographed sword fights between each other often. Friday stands about a foot shorter than Schenk, so he said he's grateful he doesn't have to face him in a real fight.
"I feel like I'd be at a disadvantage. Plus he has a sword and a hook, so he's really dangerous," Friday said. "I really have to be on my guard."
Before and during rehearsal, students can be found working on set and costume pieces. Johnson said he encourages his students to be involved in nearly every aspect of the production.
"Several students really put in a lot of time on the set and are rewarded with real ownership of the look of the show," Johnson said. "As the set was being built (including a massive tree that is the Lost Boys' home) it was great fun to watch the cast arrive at rehearsal, take a look at the set and say, 'Cool,' and then hear the set builders say, 'I made that.'"
Schenk said he enjoys helping with the set and costume pieces because it "makes the show feel more personal." He particularly enjoyed working on his hook.
"I got the base pieces from the store, but I added to it to make it look better. It's pretty cool now," Schenk said.
If you go
What: Marshall School's "Peter Pan"
Where: Fregeau Auditorium at Marshall School, 1215 Rice Lake Rd.
When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10-12
Tickets: $5 adults, $3 students, available at the door, free for Marshall staff and students