KCP bringing Peter Pan to the Barrie stage
Eden Eidt, middle, plays Wendy in Peter Pan, along with Arianna Conidi, at left, and Zaira Puniska, right, who were double cast in the roll of Peter Pan. Kempenfelt Community Players’ young company presents the show this weekend at the Georgian Theatre. SUBMITTED
Kempenfelt Community Players’ young company serves up a little magic this weekend with the musical Peter Pan Jr.
“It’s the whole story of Peter Pan condensed into one hour,” said Arianna Conidi, who marks her first lead role, playing Peter Pan.
Conidi moved here a year ago from Aurora and discovered the local community theatre company from a fellow drama student at St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School. Since then she has been in two shows. She is also taking musical theatre from The Melody in Me Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Barrie. Her interest in theatre grew out of dance.
“I’ve always danced since I was younger and kept bugging my mom to do the musical theatre that my studio would do,” said Conidi who also started singing lessons but didn’t appear in any shows outside of school. “Moving to Barrie has opened up so many opportunities and acting in general.”
Currently in Grade 12, she also found KCP to be a good balance with her workload. She’s trying to keep her grades high for university to go into medicine. She expects to keep up her interest in theatre.
“This is definitely my fun,” she said. “Anytime I’m not here, I’m doing school work. This is my down time.”
Most of the lead characters in the show are double cast. Conidi is will be playing Peter Pan at opposite times to Zaira Puniska, who heard about KCP from other student at The Melody in Me and decided to audition. The Grade 9 student was initially interested in playing Wendy, but got a callback for Peter Pan.
“I like Peter Pan; he’s not happy all the time. Sometimes, he’s closed off; he has layers,” Puniska said of her character.
This is her third musical, but her first time with KCP, and her first lead role. She has enjoyed making movies — recording her friends in little films — which made it seem like she wanted to be a director. She was aware that it wouldn’t be easy to be an actor because of the amount of competition. Nevertheless, she wants to keep going in theatre.
“I really like acting and singing,” she said. “I tried a lot of extracurricular (activities) — sports, especially, didn’t work for me — one time I had the ball and went the wrong way.”
Eden Eidt, a Grade 12 student at Eastview, landed the role of Wendy. Peter Pan was her second choice, a close second. She is happy that KCP cast females in the role.
This is her first KCP show too. She moved here from London, Ontario in July and started looking for theatre companies here. Her interest in theatre goes back to when she was a child of two or three.
“My parents recognized I had a love for singing, being a goof ball, and felt acting would be good for me,” said Eidt, who started out with the Original Kids Theatre Company, did six shows and was in Grade 5 when she took a couple of years off.
Then, she found her niche with the London Youth Theatre Education (LYTE) where she stayed until last spring, prior to moving to Barrie.
She wants to make theatre her life and has applied to a theatre school at New York University which has a reputation for turning out actors land on Broadway, Eidt’s long-term goal.
Her younger brother, 10-year-old Sawyer, seems to be following in her footsteps. He will also be appearing in Peter Pan.
Kempenfelt Community Players’ young company present the musical Peter Pan Jr. at Georgian Theatre, 1 Georgian Dr. from Friday to Sunday. Evening and matinee shows are available. Tickets are $22 for adults, $19 for seniors, students, children, available at the box office, 705-739-4228.