Sunbury Christian Academy returns to Neverland in 'Peter Pan Jr.'

Rachel Thompson, as Peter Pan, spars with Captain Hook, portrayed by Trevor Taylor, in Sunbury Christian Academy’s performance of “Peter Pan, Jr.” Based on the Broadway musical made famous by Mary Martin, the show takes place on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the school on 135 Spruce Hollow Road.

NORTHUMBERLAND – Fly away with Wendy, Michael and John as they join Peter Pan on his timeless escapades in Neverland.

Sunbury Christian Academy will produce “Peter Pan Jr.,” based on the Broadway musical made famous by Mary Martin, on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the school on 135 Spruce Hollow Road.

The school selected the show before the pandemic in 2020.

“We always choose a musical based not only on its appeal to our audience and the talents of our cast, but also for the Christian message we can pull from the story,” said Alison Tomko, computer and career, life science, yearbook advisor and musical director. “The story of ‘never growing up’ is how we like to view our journey with the Lord. We stay youthful in our pursuit of God’s Word and our uninhibited and fearless faith.”

Tomko had to “think outside of the box” when planning the sets and blocking for the musical because she really wanted to show the scenes where the characters learn to fly.

“I didn't want to take that portion out, as some schools have done, because that leap of trust the characters take to fly with Peter Pan is iconic and endearing,” she said. “I would love for people to attend to see how imaginative and creative we were with the sets and the characters.”

The school play involves a mix of students from 4th to 11th grade, as well as adults. Two senior students returned who were unable to perform last year because of the pandemic closures.

“The talent in this cast astounds me every time I watch the musical, even though I’ve seen it again and again,” Tomko said. “I would love for the community to attend and be proud of this tiny, local, private school that can deliver a performance of this level.”

Junior Trevor Taylor portrays the infamous Captain Hook.

“Captain Hook was an interesting character for me to fulfill because his whole attitude is completely different from mine,” Taylor said. “I also enjoy a challenge though, and love playing the villain any chance I get.”

Audiences will enjoy the comedy that Captain Hook brings to the show, Taylor said.

“Hook is such a silly villain, and I think people are going to enjoy that,” he said. “I think if you asked most of the people in the cast what their favorite part of the musical is they would tell you the pirate songs. They’re just so catchy and fun, I believe people are going to love them.”

Sophomore Julia Snyder plays the character of Wendy Darling, big sister to Michael and John.

“I think audiences will enjoy Wendy’s curiosity and excitement in going along with Peter Pan on an adventure to explore Neverland,” Snyder said. “I also believe they will enjoy the love and care she gives to the Lost Boys.”

The show will be performed in Sunbury Christian Academy’s sanctuary. To respect CDC pandemic guidelines, SCA will have limited seating, only allowing 200 audience members, who must be masked, Tomko said. The normal physical distancing will be adhered to for non-families in the sanctuary during the performance.

“This is also a wonderful opportunity for families to come enjoy a live show,” Tomko said. “We have had so few ways to enjoy the arts in the last year.”

Along with the show, the Neverland Cafe will be open at intermission, and the SCA Art Show can be viewed in the cafeteria.

“We adore any opportunity to connect with our local community and bring them into our beautiful school and sanctuary,” Tomko said.

Purchase tickets by contacting Sunbury Christian Academy school office at 570-473-7592 or online at www.sunburychristianacademy.org. The ticket includes a beverage and treat at the Neverland Café during intermission.

Cindy O. Herman lives in Snyder County. Email comments to her at CindyOHerman@gmail.com

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