Backstage Passes to Behind-the-Scenes of Peter Pan at the Beacon High School...Student Makers Rocking This Show

Attending the Beacon Players production of "Peter Pan" at the Beacon High School this weekend will be like watching a college-level production. Why? Because of the dozens of uber-talented student makers who are involved in putting it together, from the costume department to the set design and construction. Beacon is a community of rolling-up-the-sleeves creative talent in so many areas, from carpentry to film to photo to dance (

so many areas!

), and this show has provided a trifecta opportunity for students, teachers and parents to unite those skills, working together all over the high school, setting up on hallway floors to draw patterns onto Tiger Lily's skirt, to building the set, to collecting props from flea markets, stores, and homes all over the community.

Involving students as much as possible has been integral to director Anthony J. Scarrone's vision. His assistant director is student Henry Wyand. Even the PR and marketing arm of the student production has stepped up. Two students in particular, Sierra Caban and Michael Bonanno, have been hard at work doing media outreach, organizing sneak previews for the press, and distributing free tickets in a 600-egg Easter egg hunt. All of this with the guidance of newly involved parent advisor Kelly Ellenwood, a grassroots organizer for many local organizations, as well as Nicole Paoli, Janira Quiñones, and Irina Siegel.

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

A special touch that will have your visual senses soaring is seeing Peter Pan (played by BHS junior Rhiannon Parsaca) fly out of the nursery (pictured below) with new recruits to Neverland. This year, the Beacon Players have invested in the rental of a flying apparatus. The contraption, 

Flying by Foy

, was

developed by Peter Foy

to answer the aggressive vision of Mary Martin in the full musical version of "Peter Pan" in 1954. "Martin wanted her Peter Pan to fly higher, faster and farther than had ever been attempted before," according to the company. This allowed for Martin's "soaring aerial choreography [that] thrilled audiences and ushered in a new era in stage flying." Student choreographer Emily Kidd, pictured and interviewed in a Beacon Players video below, had that special opportunity to choreograph for the air as well as the stage floor.

The Foy flying director is Perry Fertig, with Randy Benson as flying supervisor; running the flying crew are P.J. Devine, D.J. Goodall, Zach Rodgers, Chris Richards, Connor Sgorbissa, Mark Murphy, and Mike Zingone. It will be quite busy in those wings!

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Flying By Foy technology has been used in many productions you know, including "The Wizard of Oz," "A Christmas Carol," and even "Ice Capades." Beacon students will join the ranks of stars who have been strapped into it, including David Bowie, Lucille Ball, Diana Ross, Sally Field, Howard Stern, and even Sean Connery!

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

In last week's issue of The Highlands Current, Parsaca

shares her childhood dream

of being flown away by Peter Pan. Now she gets to play that role, and actually fly.

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Students Design Costumes for 'Peter Pan'

The adults involved in the designing of the costumes are costume crew advisor Karin Zdrojewski with costume crew coordinators Jayne Warner and Irina Siegel. Digging into the design and construction of the costumes for Peter Pan, Wendy, the Lost Boys, Tiger Lily and her tribe were students on the costume crew: Cynthia Carmona, Ali Caruso, Elyse Istvan, Kindeya Green, Marin Kacur, Jessica McTeer, Jana Medley, Dana Miller, Kailee Montross, Grace Sanker, Marissa Schiller, and Jillian Warner.

In this 

video interview, Jillian Warner

, one of the costume designers and creator of Peter Pan's costume, describes what it was like to prepare for and produce the costumes. Jillian began sewing at a young age, keeping her skills honed long after a sewing class she attended with 

Eva Intonti Gronowitz

at Beacon Art Studio (which you can find in

A Little Beacon Blog's Summer Day Camp Guide


Photo Credit: Beacon Players video screenshot.

Photo Credit: Beacon Players video screenshot.

Photo Credit: Beacon Players video screenshot.

Photo Credit: Beacon Players video screenshot.

A student designer applies the pattern with gel glue before it is dyed.

The Indian skirts for Tiger Lily and her girls were hand-dyed, using gel glue as the paint.

Watch the video

below to see how they did it. Says Sierra Caban, student media contact for the show, about the costumes: "For some costumes, they were put together using pieces of costumes that have been used in the past. They re-hem old costumes to fit the person that's wearing it in the current show, pin pieces together so that costumes won't fall apart, sew new pieces of fabric onto costumes, find shoes for some characters, and so much more. This show was very hard to costume because our director wanted everyone to be different, he wanted LOTS of color; but of course, [the] costume crew delivered. All of the costumes are so unique and wonderful because they've spent almost every day of the week leading up to the show at the school from 3pm to 9pm."

Photo Credit: Beacon Players video screenshot.

Choreography Is Huge Opportunity for Students

Most students in high school may get an opportunity to choreograph something as an end-of-the-year exam. But this year, student Emily Kidd got to choreograph for a real life play, and star in it as Tiger Lily herself. "I’m so honored to be and happy to be the choreographer for 'Peter Pan,' " says Kidd in this video interview produced by the Beacon Players, "because even though I’ve been worried that dances wouldn’t be as good as if an adult had done it, it’s still exciting. It’s scary, but I’m honored to do it. It’s a challenge. I’ve gotten more confident after people have been encouraging me." 

Students have been rehearsing for weeks. When most families were on Spring Break, Beacon Players were in the Pete and Toshi Seeger Theatre in the Beacon High School building the set, rehearsing dance moves, sewing costumes, and putting on other finishing touches for this weekend's opening.

Set Design Opportunities

The set/stage crew chief is Mark Murphy Jr., with Randy Caruso as advisor. The two have led a student crew consisting of Michael DeChent-Robertin, Elyse Fox, Ella Lewis, Stevie Hulse, James Olson, Anya Sendelbach, Kevin Steger, Sebastian Uribe, and Brandon Wansor. Take note of the beautiful paintings on canvas, by Lori Christie, that hang in the nursery..

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

To get


behind the scenes with this and all productions from the Beacon Players, you can

read their meeting notes!

You'll see details that reveal to you who is making the magic happen, like this update: "Mrs. Siegel has been working on a vacant store front window display to advertise the show." 

It's been fun to glimpse some of the behind-the-scenes action required to put on this performance that gives Beacon students such a unique experience. For many, involvement in high school starts to define what careers they carve out. It's easy to see how your support for the Beacon Players gets used.

Ticket sales


program advertisements


sponsoring a seat

in the theater, and


are all ways you can contribute. Students can

join the Beacon Players by filling out this form

to start the process.

Show Times: NEARLY SOLD OUT, if not already sold out by the time you read this!



 April 8th: 




April 9th




April 10


Buy tickets online


, or risk it and buy at the door!

*Waiting lists may be available at the door.

See you at the show!