Peter Pan, the boy who will never grow up, has gotten sidetracked fighting Capt. Hook and his pirate crew. He’ll be a little late returning to the "grown-up world" where the Community School of the Arts (CSA) was scheduled to give three performances of "Peter Pan Jr." at the King Opera House in Van Buren on May 1 and 2.
The current situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and social distancing has caused the production to be rescheduled for June 26-27. For those who already had tickets for the May dates, the tickets will still be honored. It is still possible the performance could be moved to a date later than late June, the CSA executive director said.
"Peter Pan Jr." is directed by Shannon Stoddard with music direction by Sheila Mann. It features the Children’s Theatre Company, with a cast of 40 children in third to sixth grade. The students typically rehearse twice a week for two hours at a time.
A Neverland Tea Party Adventure was to be hosted at the historic Bonneville House in Fort Smith on April 18. Regrettably, that event was canceled due to COVID-19. There are no plans to reschedule.
Based on J.M. Barrie’s 1904 classic tale and featuring an unforgettable score, "Peter Pan" is one of the most beloved and frequently performed family favorites of all time. This high-flying Tony Award-winning musical has been performed around the world and delighted audiences for 60 years and is now adapted for young performers.
Peter and his mischievous fairy sidekick, Tinkerbell, visit the nursery of the Darling children late one night and, with a sprinkle of pixie dust, begin a magical journey across the stars that none of them will ever forget.
In the adventure of a lifetime, the travelers come face to face with a ticking crocodile, a fierce Indian tribe, a band of bungling pirates and, of course, the villainous Captain Hook.
The performance will feature the iconic songs, "I’m Flying," "I’ve Gotta Crow," "I Won’t Grow Up" and "Never Never Land," and a rousing book full of magic, warmth and adventure, "Peter Pan Jr." is the perfect show for the child in all of us who dreamed of soaring high and never growing up.
CSA also had their Chamber Strings Spring Concert 2020 performance scheduled for April 26 at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Fort Smith. The concert is currently postponed to late June. A date has not been announced. Tickets will be honored for the postponed date.
Rosilee Russell, founder and executive director of CSA, said, the organization is still housed at St. Boniface Elementary School at 201 N. 18, Fort Smith. All activities are at St. Boniface except art and preschool.
Due to the uncertainty of things with the pandemic, the school is remaining flexible with their performance scheduling. Russell stated, "Peter Pan Jr. is set for June, but I expect this will get moved to July, August, or even September."
"Elf Jr." is currently scheduled to be performed July 18 at the King Opera House. Russell said it may be rescheduled for December.
With the current closure of the school’s facilities, classes are continuing online. CSA also has a new, fun project called Quaran-Time that can be found on their site. Stoddard has her parody entitled "The 12 Days of Quarantine" performed to the popular Christmas tune. In addition to having a wonderful voice, she is quite funny.
The Quaran-Time page also has a weekly video challenge, encouraging their students to share their at-home performances.
According to the CSA website https://www.csafortsmith.org/, the school specializes in a curriculum of activities for children and young people that explore their artistic talents and develop their social skills in positive and exciting ways. The organization offers a line-up of professional faculty who are leaders in their field and love working with young people. CSA is celebrating their third season in 2020, albeit with a change in the way they are teaching.
Perusing staff biographies, CSA has some major talent working with the children. They offer classes ranging from music to visual arts; dance to theater for a variety of age groups all the way from preschool to 12th grade. CSA also has some programs that adults can participate in, such as Fiddle Folk and with private lessons.
CSA was scheduled to reopen April 20 after Arkansas’s public schools were to reopen. Now that public school will be closed for the rest of the semester, CSA plans to try and reopen June 1.
Russell said, "As far as summer goes – we are looking at doing outdoor activities that keep social distancing going!"