Arts & Entertainment

Staging of 'Peter Pan’ at WHRHS Involves Large Cast and Crew

Senior Adele Rotondo of Warren Township, who portrayed “Wendy,” and Freshman Jack Melillo of Millington, who was “Peter Pan.”
Sophomore Natasha Bird of Millington, right, portrayed Pirate 2 in “Peter Pan,” to the delight of her Mom, Nancy Bird, left.
Sophomore Adam Noble, center, of Warren Township, played “Michael” in Peter Pan, drawing the admiration of his Dad, Cliff, left, and Aunt Renee Parvim, right, of Millburn.
Senior Logan Styles of Watchung, right, played the infamous “Captain Hook” in Peter Pan, winning the applause of his Dad, Jay Stiles, left.
Senior Chris Oakes, left, and Junior Michael Maloney, both of Warren Township scanned tickets at the door of “Peter Pan”
Among the ushers for “Peter Pan” on Thursday, Nov. 17, were Sophomores Alison Wolf, left, of Millington and Elizabeth Chapleski of Green Brook Township
Sophomore Erin Bailey, left, of Warren Township, and Senior Kathleen Stavole of Green Brook Township staffed the souvenir and refreshments table

WARREN, NJ – The Fall Drama at Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS), “Peter Pan,” by J.M. Barrie, which offered five performances between Nov. 16 and 19, provided a learning experience for many in its cast and crew.

Drama Department teacher and play director Douglas Eaton said aside from the play’s inherent strength as an iconic piece of literature, and its multiple adaptations for both dramatic and musical theater, staging it gave an opportunity for many students to stretch their learning experiences, both on stage and being a part of the behind-the-scenes production team. 

For instance, two students, Kathleen Stavole and Amelia Stapperfenne, were assistant directors on Peter Pan, and another, Jenna Leski, was Production Stage Manager.

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The play, itself, called for a cast of some 15 central characters, but also entire groups of other characters, including eight who portrayed the lost children, nine who played pirates, eight who portrayed braves and maidens, and eight who played mermaids.

In the main cast were: Jack Melillo as Peter Pan; Adele Rotondo as Wendy; Adam Noble as Michael; William Broder as John;Kira Leinwand as Mrs. Darling; Suchir Govindarajan as Mr. Darling; Michael Dumapit as Nana/Croc; Logan Stiles asCaptain Jas. Hook; Ben Allgor as Smee; Emma Leary as Starkey; Sophia Su as Liza; Angelia Seda as Tiger Lily; and Emily Snead, Kathleen O’Mullan and Aurora Baker as Panthers.

The lost children were portrayed by: Hannah Melillo as  Nibs; Allison Horvath as Slightly; Tea Kingley as Curly; Kaya Martins as Tootles; Kyra Anthony as Omnes; Jillian Ferrara as Triplet 1; Frencesca Infante-Meehan as Triplet 2; and Amy Holzas Triplet 3.

The pirates were portrayed by: Mariella Zijdel as Cecco;Victoria Magali as Bill Jukes; Carol MacManus as Cookson; Julia Piela as Skylights; Justin Horowitz as Mullins; Kevin Lynch as Noodles; Spencer Acciarito as Pirate 1; and Natasha Bird as Pirate 2.

The Braves and Maidens were portrayed by: Matthew Mazzarisi, Ariya Blow, Nikhil Singh, Brianna Caetano, Summer Stuart, Nicole Vila, Sophia Patti and Danielle Keller.

The Mermards were portrayed by: Rhiannon Barone, Elaine Limbo, Brigita Przybylski, Dana Wasserman, Kaelin Churchill, Angela Munoz, Maria Irvin and Anchal Bhir.

The students and staff on the production crew were: Chris Oakes as Lighting Board Operator; Mitchell Allen and Michael Maloney on Sound – Mics; Krystyna Leski on Sound Effects; Emily Graf and Patrick Dempsey as Rail Operators; MylanDettling as Prop Master; John Farley, Rachel Krouk, and Jess Pearlstein on Prop Crew; Melissa Vu as Costume Manager; Sam Sinnott and Hannah Stevens on Costumes; Trilogy Repertory Company in Bernards Township and Phoenix Costumes, Red Bank, providing Costume Rental; and Nick DeNizio as Master Carpenter and Rick Clark as Set Carpenters.

The Make-up and Hair Crew were Gaby DiLone, HollaceChase, Brianna Casas, Julia Celeste, and Madelena Gottfredo. The Running Crew included: Alexander Martin, Michael Wong, Tyler Ruck, Arden Dettling, Portia Rowley, TimotheIroudayassamy, Christopher Barry, Joe Perkins and Tyler Horvath.

Alison Wolf, Eizabeth Chapleski and Erin Bailey were ushers. The Script and Cue Business Manager is Dianne Krutz.

In addition to director and Set Designer Doug Eaton, other key Production leaders were: Scenic Artist, Kate Griffin; Costume Design, Gail DiCicco; Lighting Design, Chris Valenti; Sound Design, Rick Clark; Lead Assistant SM (Stage manager), Caitlin Villareal; Assistant SM, Mark Caamano; Technical Director and Set CAD, Chris Valenti, Video Projections; and Lightning Effects, Chris Valenti, Rick Clark and Nick DiNizio.

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