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District 91 musical reaches new heights with Peter Pan

030923 12P D91 PETER PAN PKG.00_01_45_10.Still002

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Students from all over Idaho Falls School District 91 are taking the stage this week for the annual district-wide musical. It is open to all students from grades seven through twelve. This year they are putting on Peter Pan.

Despite the tradition going a strong four decades, they are still finding ways to break new ground. This is the 41st annual district musical and for the first time, they are performing it off campus by taking the show the Colonial Theater in downtown Idaho Falls.

"It's giving the kids a chance to work in a more professional theatrical venue," District music director Sharon Cole praised the people at the Colonial for allowing the district to use the historic venue.

Brayden Washburn is playing Captain Hook. He traces his acting roots to the Colonial Theater.

"I've seen a lot of shows here, which I've really liked. This kind of sparked my interest in acting, so being able to perform in this venue is just very nostalgic to me. It has a place in my heart."

Lead actress Oakley Mecham, who is playing Peter Pan, is also eager to see what the Colonial brings.

"I love seeing the balcony. It makes me feel so honored to be able to perform here because I just realize how many people will be here."

It's not just the venue that makes this year's musical special. They are also reaching new heights when it comes to special effects. One reason, they needed the Colonial.

A company from St. Louis, Missouri came in to work with the kids for four days to set up all the rigging and flying. There were some nerves from both students and staff, at first.

"Initially, I was just excited, but as they got closer to actually going to fly, I was terrified. Absolutely terrified." Mecham adds that it took just one time in the air to settle down.

"First time they went really slow. It was kind of like a little bit of a let down. I felt pretty comfortable in the air the first time."

Cole praised the Missouri company for making it a good experience. "The first day he showed up, I relaxed because it was such a professional, wonderful setup."

Washburn says this added element makes them step up their game. "When someone's flying around you, you have to have everything exactly memorized, exactly precise. Because if you mess up one move, that could be the difference between life and a broken leg."

Peter Pan opens Friday and runs March 10, 11, 13 and 14 at the Colonial Theater in Idaho Falls. Tickets can be purchased here.

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Dylan Carder

Dylan is a morning news anchor for Local News 8.


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