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James and the Giant Peach makes its debut at Staples

A+gaggle+of+insects+%28Left+to+right+Cameron+Mann+%E2%80%9924%2C+Josy+Pitaro+%E2%80%9924%2C+Finley+Chevrier+%E2%80%9924%2C+Samantha+Edwards+%E2%80%9924%2C+Matthew+Bukzin+%E2%80%9924%29++facing+James+%28Beck+Fipp+%E2%80%9927%29+during+rehearsal.+
Elsa D’Elia ’25
A gaggle of insects (Left to right Cameron Mann ’24, Josy Pitaro ’24, Finley Chevrier ’24, Samantha Edwards ’24, Matthew Bukzin ’24) facing James (Beck Fipp ’27) during rehearsal.

Almost every member of the Staples community should be familiar with the feeling of waiting in anticipation in the dim auditorium, playbook in hand, waiting for the start of another notorious Staples Players production. On March 21st 2024, Staples Players will be premiering James and the Giant Peach, led by Beck Fipp ’27 as James.

James and the Giant Peach is the second production Fipp has been a part of since joining players, succeeding The Prom.

“I will never forget the feeling of walking down the hallway towards the Black Box for the first read-through on the first day of rehearsal,” Fipp said. “I was so nervous my teeth were chattering, but everyone was so kind and understanding that before we [got] through the first act, I felt completely comfortable and was having a blast.”

The Peach that Players Tech created for the show is sprawling, containing two usable levels as well as stairs. (Elsa D’Elia ’25)

Of course, a leading character isn’t all that defines a show, an entire dedicated group of actors is needed; one being Fin Chevrier ’24.  

“Throughout my years [in theater,] I’ve acted in 11 different shows. My first was James and the Giant Peach, and now my last show is also James and the Giant Peach, very full circle,” Chevrier said. “I can guarantee it’s really special, and unlike anything Players has put on in a while.” 

Throughout my years [in theater,] I’ve acted in 11 different shows. My first was James and the Giant Peach, and now my last show is also James and the Giant Peach, very full circle. I can guarantee it’s really special, and unlike anything Players has put on in a while.

— Fin Chevrier '24

What goes on backstage is equally important as what’s seen on stage. Huge effort is put in during the months leading up to shows, with crew members working hard.

For example, Kayla Damiano ’25 serves as the Assistant Stage Manager on the production team.

“It’s pretty fun, I run backstage so all the set pieces and set changes are by me,” Damiano said. “During the show process, I am in charge of making sure we know what set pieces go where and when, along with helping to train the Production Assistants.”

As well as Damiano being the Assistant Stage Manager, the Stage Manager, Tyler Rockwell ’24, deals greatly with production, too. Rockwell is in charge of the 11 crews that make up tech. 

“During the show, I call all live lighting cues, and some sound effects with the lighting designer in the lighting booth,” Rockwell said. “I’m also on headset with the spot operators and backstage managers to maintain clear communication and act quickly in case of emergency.”

Rehearsing choreography is no easy task, but Players take it in stride during afterschool hours.
(Elsa D’Elia ’25)

These duties have been tested during the production of James and the Giant Peach.

“James has been one of the most technical shows Players has ever done since I’ve been here. It’s very theatrical with many moving pieces and components such as trap doors and moving walls,” Rockwell said.

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Elsa D’Elia ’25, Staff Writer
Staff Writer Elsa D’Elia ’25 joined Advanced Journalism after really enjoying Introduction to Journalism. “I found a style of writing that I was super comfortable with,” D’Elia said. “So I wanted to join the class on a more, like, official basis.” D’Elia spent half of her summer working as a camp counselor for five-year-olds at Camp Mahackeno run by the YMCA and then she took off to Vermont where she vacationed with her family.  “I write a lot when I have free time,” D’Elia said. “It is an activity that is enjoyable for me and allows me to be creative.”

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