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Hooked on acting: Young actors reprise 'Peter Pan'

"See Peter run, or flyThe WICA Youth Theatre's production of the original Peter Pan sequel Hooked Again will take the stage at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in two shows, at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 10 and 2 p.m. Aug. 11. Tickets are $5. Call 221-8268.WICA class to bring musical to the stageTo play Captain Hook's daughter in a new stage musical sequel to Peter Pan, student actor Rachael Gora said she had to be something she definitely is not - a tomboy.I'm kind of mean and dirty and pissy, she said.It's a role she's never had to play before in nine years of acting or in real life, but she is doing it because she is learning what it takes to turn a typed script into a play. Gora is one of more than a dozen South Whidbey kids spending five weeks learning the ropes, wires, lighting techniques, and acting skills they need to put on Ray Jarol's production of Hooked Again at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. In the production, which will take the stage on Aug. 10 and 11 under the auspices of the WICA Youth Theatre, the members of the acting class will return to the Peter Pan story to visit Captain Hook's widowed wife and her three swashbuckling daughters as they pursue Wendy and Peter in a search for a lost treasure.Jarol, WICA's technical director, is teaching the kids all this in an advanced theater production class between July and August called Off the Page and Onto the Stage. With a group of actors as young as 8 and as old as 18, bringing his script and original music to performance readiness is a challenge. On stage with his pupils in the empty WICA theater last week, Jarol coaxed 10 of the budding actors through their lines and their stage movements. Two weeks away from the class's Aug. 10 and 11 production of Hooked, things weren't going that well.Do it my way or do it my way, Jarol said as he tried to get the actors get through a scene without stopping.Deana Duncan, another one of the class instructors, said the group is not necessarily aiming for perfection. Though most of the kids have some stage experience, Duncan said they are in the class to do things they have never done.It's not about the final product, she said. It's about technique.Some of the things the kids are learning to do on stage are downright scary for them. Ali Lloyd, a veteran of two school plays, said the singing in her role is something she would not have tried on her own.I'm terrified of singing, she said.But there's enough fun to counter the fear. This week, the young actors took stage fencing lessons from an Egyptian swordplay master, a skill they need to have for the battles between the Captain Hook crowd and the Lost Boys. Also keeping the daily, six-hour class sessions lively are theater games, skits, mask making lessons, and a little goof-off time in the WICA dressing rooms. Both the boys and the girls in the class have created separate, private retreats in the rooms for use between scenes.The Off the Page class is one of two theater classes offered at WICA this summer. The theater also held an introductory stage class for kids between 6 and 7 years old. "

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