The Show Must Go On: James and the Giant Peach Review

Stepping into the school I expected to head to the ticket table, buy my ticket and nab a great seat before the show. What I got was a panic-stricken senior Jeremiah Hartsock dressed as a centipede telling director Kayla Gahagen that two of the play’s actors, seniors Meredith Lewis and Joshua Carver, had gotten into a car accident and could not make the show.

I watched in awe as Gahagen asked if the two were all right before reassuring Hartsock that the play would go on and they would think of something.

Before the play started, the actors came out and interacted with the audience. They encouraged children to sit right in front of the stage on the floor so that they could be a part of the play, all while staying completely in character.

When the play started I was shocked and amazed that Gahagen and junior Gabriella Cila had stepped into the roles of Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, James’ aunts previously played by Lewis and Carver.

The play went on with an interactive and outstanding cast. More parts were improvised according to Gahagen, but I could not tell.

Gahagen said that there were no understudies for the play.

“I found out about the accident 25 minutes before the play started,” Gahagen said. “I had seen the script and knew a lot of it, but [Cila] hadn’t practiced the part.”

Cila was confident in her role, but did not know the exact script.

“I had the general idea,” Cila said. “But most of it was improvised.”

Senior Allory Bors had more to add.

“The aunts were improvised mostly,” Bors said. “[Gahagen and Cila] were able to look at their lines like five minutes before the play.”

Despite the uncontrollable incident, the play was phenomenal, with enough humor to keep everyone engaged. It was definitely a children-targeted play, but it managed to entertain everyone. Magical things happened during this play, and I give my standing ovation to the acting ensemble and Gahagen.

-By Morgan Yigdal