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Creating one’s own definition of family with ‘James and the Giant Peach’

On March 24 and 25, numerous St. Ann School students, some insect puppets and one very large peach took to the stage to present the school’s production of “James and the Giant Peach JR.”

St. Ann School is located at 435 S. Sixth St., Emmaus.

In the junior musical rendition of Roald Dahl’s classic book, an orphan named James Henry Trotter finds himself living with his two nightmarish aunts, Spiker and Sponge, who treat him as more of a butler than a relative. Soon after, though, an apparently magical person known as Ladahlord (an anagram of Dahl’s full name) appears before James.

Through a potion-related mishap, an entrance into a larger-than-expected peach and an unfortunate tumble off a cliff and into the English Channel, James finds himself sailing across the Pacific Ocean with a group of insects-turned-humans.

Over the course of the journey, he finds kinship with his new friends and, by the end of the show, replaces his nasty aunts with the many-legged motley crew.

Director Denise Binder teamed up with Musical Director Ariel Scholz, Assistant Director Jennifer Smith and Choreographer Kim Patterson to bring the show to the stage, with the help of many other parents and staff.

According to Scholz, magic and mystery aside, “James and the Giant Peach JR.” is a story of creating one’s own definition of family.

“While James’s family are his two aunts, they’re not; they don’t act like his family,” Scholz said. “He actually discovers a new family in these insects who take him in; they discover how to work as a team and they really bond. They are there for each other throughout this adventure and they become their own new family.”

Members of the cast and crew pose with the directors of the musical after a tech week rehearsal March 22.
PRESS PHOTOS BY ALICE ADAMS Ladahlord, played by Mia Moyer, sings about potions and spells with other members of the ensemble.
The Ladies' Garden Guild sings during the show. The Guild includes, left to right: Isabella Oviedo, Adaliz Gibson, Letizia Perez, Ann Mathew, Emilie Breidenbach and Ashlynn Edwards.
James Henry Trotter, played by Matthew Oviedo, wears his mother's scarf as he talks to his aunts.