April 15, 2019
Writer: Jaime Strobel

Madison Jr. High School is performing its spring show, “Peter Pan and Wendy” this weekend on April 19, 20 and 22.

Joseph Lawless, the drama teacher at Madison Jr. High School, is the director of the play. This is his last production and he hopes the community will come and support the students.

He said supporting the youth of the community and enjoying a real-life production experience are great reasons why people should come.

Lawless explained the production is not a musical or Disney version of Peter Pan. It is an adaption to J.M. Barrie’s original work. He further explained how people may be surprised with the ending of the play, and how it may come across more melancholy.

“All of us go through this phase in our life where we have to decide whether or not we are going to leave adolescence and move into adulthood,” Lawless said.

He said the play will help people contemplate questions such as, what matters to me? Where am I spending my time? What am I focusing on? What memories from my childhood have I forgotten?

Nick Hodgson will play the lead role as Peter Pan, McKinley Callard as Wendy Darling and Andrew Haeberle as Captain Hook. These students have loved being a part of this experience and hope to pursue theater in the future.

“It’s very entertaining, and fun to watch,” Hodgson said.

Every year, Madison Jr. High School puts on two productions, a musical in the fall and a show in the spring. This production has around 30 students which include the roles of lost boys, pirates and the Darling family.

Lawless said the play is relatable with aspects of imagination, childhood and creativity.

A unique aspect of the play includes puppetry. Nana, the family dog, is featured as a life-sized dog puppet being puppeteered by a student, along with the crocodile.

The production is April 19 and 22 at 7 p.m. in the Madison Jr. High School Auditorium. Saturday, April 20 a matinee starts at 2:30 p.m. The tickets are $2 for students and $4 for adults.

“I do this for the youth,” Lawless said. “I love being a part of it and love seeing them grow. I love them taking on the responsibility, taking on the challenges of doing something they’ve never done before, making them think on their feet and trying things in a different way and seeing a new light.”

He said he hopes the community will come and fill the auditorium and leave feeling inspired with a childlike wonder.