New Market Middle’s “Peter Pan Jr.” flies on stage April 19th-21


Students rehearse blocking for a scene in which Wendy is asleep, under the direction of Ms. Heeley

by Mackenzie Berry, Reporter

Linganore is staging Footloose, and Gov. Thomas Johnson’s will launch 9 to 5. However, in addition to all the annual high school productions that will be performed in the next few months, there are also many middle school productions.

On April 19th, 20th, and 21st, New Market Middle School will be presenting their production of Peter Pan Jr. based on the classic tale by J.M Barrie and directed by Renee Heeley, the school’s advanced academic specialist and seventh grade life skills teacher. The cast contains a variety of students who are in grades 6-8, and the show contains a lively musical score and script that is an adaptation of the classic musical.

The students involved in the production are rehearsing every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday after school to prepare for their performance.

Kendall Hackworth, a seventh grader who will be seen as Tinker Bell, says, “My favorite dance is probably the brave girls dance because they get to do a lot of exotic dancing, like the hula.”

The difference between a junior musical, and a musical that is considered to be “adult” or “regular” is that the junior version takes a more basic approach to the plot and, perhaps, removes any vulgar language, or alters lines so that they are spoken in a way in which middle school aged students can understand and present. The show overall is also shortened, and the music is simplified, so that the students are able to perform a show that is just complex enough for them, and is appropriate for their age.

Although these students are only in middle school, the talent in this show is incredible and those who have never met these students would most likely have a hard time believing their age based on their performances. 

In addition, Ms. Renee Heeley is the commander of it all. She completes the audition and casting process, and makes sure that everything is all put together before opening night.

She says, “It’s a really huge cast, and it’s so cool that there’s so many awesome parts. Our adaptation and special editions will be worth your time. You won’t want to miss it.”

Unlike high school productions, where most of the work is completed by a large team of students, at the middle school, many parents spend hours on end designing costumes, painting and constructing sets, as well as working sounds and microphones. However, when that curtain opens on April 19th, the show will be in the student’s hands. 

Many of the students who are involved in their middle school drama program continue their passion in their high school theater programs. 

Audrey Kilgore, an incoming freshman who also performs at the Olney Theatre and in other local productions,  is Wendy in this production. She is looking forward to LHS theater. “I’m most looking forward to fine tuning some of my skills and working with new people.”

The show is April 19th and 20th at 7 pm, and the 21st at 2 pm in the New Market Middle School auditorium.

“It’s a lot of fun to watch,” says Jack Sears, an eighth grader taking on the role of Captain Hook. “The whole cast has so much fun on stage.”