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Children’s Show Promises Peaches and Playgrounds

A poster for a production of James and the Giant Peach
Event Date: 
Friday, April 7, 2017 - 7:00pm to Saturday, April 8, 2017 - 1:00pm
Location: 
Raymond J. Lammers Proscenium Theatre
Amusement and chaos ensue when James, an orphan living with his evil aunts, accidentally spills a magical concoction onto the roots of a dormant peach tree.

The University of Minnesota, Morris Theatre Discipline will close out its 2016–17 season with Roald Dahl's classic children's story James and the Giant Peach. Public performances are on Friday, April 7, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 8, at 1 p.m. in the Raymond J. Lammers Proscenium Theatre.

Amusement and chaos ensue when James, an orphan living with his evil aunts, accidentally spills a magical concoction onto the roots of a dormant peach tree. An enormous peach forms and soon becomes James's means of escape, with an assorted group of magical insects leading the way. Together, James and his newfound friends use their combined ingenuity to escape everything from sharks to sharp buildings. Along the way, they learn the importance of creativity, teamwork, and overcoming difficulties.

This production is directed by visiting assistant professor Sara Pillatzki-Warzeha. Pillatzki-Warzeha is assisted by faculty and staff members Lucas Granholm '09 as scenic and lighting designer, and Anne M. Thorson as costume designer. Student crew members include Paige Quinlivan '19, Saint Paul, as assistant director; Wendy Unger '19, Minneapolis, as stage manager; and Laura Steblay '19, Ramsey, as assistant stage manager. Makeup design is by Johanna Lies '18, Saint Paul, who is also working with Hanna Retzer '19, Byron, as stunt coordinators. Assistant scenic and lighting designer Justin Anderson '18, Rochester, is joined by Alyssa Kraft '19, Oakdale, as assistant lighting designer, and Torri Jordan '17, Fort Atkinson Wisconsin, as props master. Assisting with costume design are Alyssa Olsen '18, Cloquet, and Victoria Evens '20, Cold Spring. Music is composed by Thomas Pederson '18, Alexandria, with assistance from Justin Anderson '18, Rochester, and Jack Squier '18, Hutchinson.

James is played by Caroline Vodacek '18, New Auburn Wisconsin, with the horrible aunts played by Brennan Bassett '17, Volga, South Dakota, and Maggie Caplan '19, Madison Wisconsin. The rag-tag band of insects are played by Mickey Capps '18, Rogers, as the Old Green Grasshopper; Zach Swigerd '19, Willmar, as Centipede; Katie Rowles-Perich '18, Shoreview and Duluth, as Miss Spider; Claire McManus '20, Robbinsdale, as Ladybird; and Katie Booth '20, Shoreview, as Earthworm. Rounding out the cast are Austin Watson '18, Willmar, as Mr. Trotter; Bailey Soika '18, Saint Paul, as Mrs. Trotter; Anne Moore '17, Buffalo, as Tour Guide; Jack Squier '18, Hutchinson, as Old Man; and Thomas Pederson '18, Alexandria, as Musician.

Public performances are on Friday, April 7, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 8, at 1 p.m. in the Raymond J. Lammers Proscenium Theatre. Invited school performances are planned for April 5–12. Tickets ($4) will be available for purchase at the door. Free parking is available in the North Parking Lot. For more information, please call the Theatre Publicity and Box Office at 320-589-6274 or email athorson@morris.umn.edu.