Peter Pan flies in to Jim Thorpe
Tatyana Estrella as Tiger Lily and Gabriel Soto as Peter Pan in costume for the upcoming production in Jim Thorpe. KELLEY ANDRADE/TIMES NEWS
“Sing for America” presents “Peter Pan” at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
The magic of “Peter Pan” will be brought to the historic Mauch Chunk Opera House stage by “Sing for America.”
Jim Thorpe will host the Allentown-based theater company from Dec. 28 to Jan. 7, with proceeds raised being donated to the families of military servicemen and women, along with a portion going to Allentown Children’s Dyslexia Center.
“Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up,” was written by Scottish novelist and playwright, James Matthew Barrie and first debuted on the London stage Dec. 27, 1904.
The classic tale is about a boy named Peter and his fairy sidekick Tinkerbell, who visit the nursery of the Darling children late one night and, with a sprinkle of pixie dust, begin a magical journey across the stars. During their adventure the travelers come face to face with a ticking crocodile, a fierce Native American tribe, a band of bungling pirates and the villainous Captain Hook. A show full of magic, warmth and adventure, Peter Pan is an ageless tale for the child in everyone.
The family production team consisting of five siblings, Taryn, Tasia, Teara, Jewel and Jorne Gilbert discovered a love of dancing and singing on stage and formed “Sing for America,” more than 10 years ago.
“We have always loved performing, singing and dancing,” said oldest sister and co-director Taryn Gilbert.
“I’ve been dancing since I was 3, and my sisters followed suit. We went to a performance school and it really helped how we shaped ourselves today. We’ve been performing at every theater in the Lehigh Valley. We’ve received so much community support we just decided to keep doing it,” she said.
“We are unique because there are five of us and we are able to tackle multiple things at once,” she said.
The “Peter Pan” production schedule is short but intense with three rehearsals a week for six to eight weeks before the Dec. 28 debut.
Taryn Gilbert said the team, along with parents Bruce and Gina, create the production from start to finish, including costumes, set design and choreography.
For “Peter Pan,” the crew is managing a group of 50 people at the Jim Thorpe venue.
“We are all in the play, too. My brother Jewel is playing Captain Hook, and everyone else are Indians or pirates. Teara is the director this year.”
“All of our cast members have a lot of fun so they are more apt to do well. We have actors come to us from all over the Valley and Pocono area. We audition people in Jim Thorpe, too, so we have a few local actors,” she said.
This will be the first time the group has performed a production in Carbon County.
“Normally we are in the Lehigh Valley, but we wanted to expand and thought the opera house would be a great fit,” she said.
The first full-length play the Gilberts ever produced was in 2011, “Cinderella.”
Since then the crew have produced more than 20 shows including “Beauty and the Beast” at the Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown and “Once on This Island,” in Bethlehem.
“We always had ‘Peter Pan’ on our list of shows we wanted to do. When we came across the opera house we thought it was a perfect fit. It’s one of the shows that appeals to all ages. It’s such a magical and fun story that it fits in with the magic of Christmas,” she said.
Tickets are available on the Opera House website, www.mcohjt.com, and Soundcheck Records in Jim Thorpe or by calling 570-325-4009.