Colleen Green The Standard KAWARTHA LAKES: The Flato Academy Theatre is proud to present the James and the Giant Peach play. It is based on the novel by Roald Dahl. However, unlike the movie, the play is lighter filled comedic moments. A great family fun play for the whole family to enjoy.
Andrew Archibald and Beth Wilson are the co-directors. The two were happy to share with The Standard their love of the theatre.
When asked why the production chose the Flato Academy Theatre for their show, Andrew shared, "Well, it's local, first of all. And secondly, we had experienced both acting and directing in this theatre before. I love it. We consider it our home theatre and really wanted to continue that tradition, I guess, to say how we show here."
"This show has been going on since the 1950's. That's pretty excellent.
It was sad during COVID when it came to a close. But part of the reason I wanted to do the show here was when I came to Lindsay, I met a great community, and I was able to make friends and become a part of it and really have a sense of belonging.
I figure people invested in me many years ago, and I really want to pay that forward and give that opportunity to kids and adults." said Beth.
When asked if there were any technical things about the theatre you wanted to introduce the kids by using the Flato Academy theatre location as opposed to a school auditorium, Beth explained, "I do think it's an opportunity to have an actual stage with a lighting technician and a set technician with wings and drapes and pulleys and all the pieces and plus just looking out at those amazing red seats."
Ms. Harwood-Jones added, "I just wanted to let you know this is like our autumn fundraiser for the theatre; it actually generates income which is much needed to keep this theatre-going. So that's what it's about.
The autumn show at the end of November has been going on since the 1950s. That is why it's one of the major fundraisers. All of the money goes back to the theatre. This is a 100 percent volunteer organization and nobody makes any profit out of it. If anything, we're investing in the show and the kids and each other; we would just love to have the return on investment from the community to come and support the theatre."
"This stage has been my home since I was five. So it's definitely home. I worked in the box office for a while, so I know this building fairly well, but it's really nice to come back home from being away for musical theatre school to come back home and continue my acting journey on the stage, which started the acting training. So it's really nice to watch all of the kids develop the same love which I had. I get super excited when I look at the music, like playing the dance steps to it. I miss it, but I still have it within the kids. So that's cool." stated Sydney.
"Interesting how things come full circle because you said she was five, so Sydney was five. I was able to be on that show with her. So we do see kids start so small and grow up and then come back in again. So she's been a big help. I'm so excited to become part of this academy family. Other people jdo want to come back and take on all of the tasks, not just the leading role, but citizen organizations too." said Beth.
Rory is also a veteran of the theatre. "I've been in some other shows. I really like the theatre. I also like that new people are coming in, but there are also people from other shows."
When Rory O'Neil was asked what attracted her to act in this play, she stated, "Well, every year there is an autumn play. I try out for them. I read the book James and the Giant Peach, when I was in grade three, so I thought I would try out." Rory plays James in the play.
Sydney Horwood-Jones shared, "This is like a family thing for me. My mom was the stage manager, and I was home from school. I was just doing my voice teaching and thought I should probably get back into the theatre, so I came out and auditioned. I didn't know James and the Giant Peach was available. I didn't even know it was a book. I knew about the movie, which terrified me as a child, but this play is really fun and not scary. It is so funny; every character has their comedic moments, but it definitely has its moments where it pulls on your heartstrings. The audience is going to get a real treat."
In conclusion, Sydney stated, "Everybody should come and see the show. It's not just a youth production. It's not just for the littles and the family. It's for mom and dad. There are a lot of really good moments in there that adults will thoroughly enjoy, and the kids will love the entire show. But also, hopefully, they see the show and want to come up on stage and join us because it's a lot of fun."
Take advantage of this great family fun event. Book your tickets now by going online to www.flatoacademytheatre.com.