A fair amount of robust young talent and stagecraft wizardry was on display last night as the West Plains high school theatre department presented Peter Pan by playwright Amanda Dehnert. The difficult piece, which was billed with the caution "may not be suitable for small children, " was performed flawlessly by the Zizzer acting troupe.
The high school drama teacher who directed the play and did not deem it necessary to give her name either in her opening remarks or on the written program, is clearly an expert in her field. She had the large cast comfortable with the complicated set. The actors moved seamlessly up, down, across, and beneath the central set piece (which even harbored a hidden trampoline), and always managed to hit their marks. Dialogue not only flowed accurately and smoothly, it was performed in big voices that could be heard well throughout the Avenue Theatre, an old movie house.
Those who follow this blog know that I have seen lots and lots of really good theatre, from Broadway, to London's West End, to all of the bigger venues in Phoenix. It is a performance medium that I truly love. My only trepidation regarding the recent move from Arizona to West Plains was giving up the professional productions that were constantly playing around the city of Phoenix. But now, after a good introduction to some of the local talent and the quaint Avenue Theatre, my confidence is high that I will get to see some very good shows locally.
The director said that this was the very first time Ms. Dehnert's Peter Pan has ever been performed by a high school group. She and her young actors did the work proud. It was truly and impressive performance.