The show will be performed at 2 p.m. July 14, 15, 21 and 22 at Daytona Playhouse.
In a comical parody of “Peter Pan” called “Captain Hook’s Revenge,” Ormond Beach youth take to the Daytona Playhouse stage July 14 for a lively musical from the perspective of Captain Hook and the other Neverland characters.
“Hook is more mysterious, and he feels like Peter Pan is the reason his hand got cut off, when Peter Pan just let him off and it wasn’t his fault,” said Rebekah Davis, who, at age 13, stars in the role of Peter Pan. “Captain Hook is against him, so Peter Pan has to protect his friends.”
Of the 25 cast members, 14 are Ormond Beach residents, as well as the director, Kathy Thompson, who launched the youth summer show program in 2009 at the playhouse, located at 100 Jessamine Blvd., Daytona Beach.
The cast is made up of locals age 10-19, giving younger students the opportunity to learn from older teens.
“I think whenever we’re with older actors, we can ask them questions, like ‘How do you think I should do this?’” Rebekah said. “It’s like a learning experience. You take what their knowledge is and your knowledge and grow more with what they say. It’s really helpful.”
Tinkerbell, played by 12-year-old Ormond Beach resident Taylor McCall, and Wendy, played by 14-year-old Ormond Beach resident Julia Ambrose, agree with Rebekah.
“I think it’s really fun working with everyone, whether they’re older or younger than you, because everyone is super talented, so you have a range of different people,” Julia said. “And it’s kind of cool to talk to the ones who are more experienced and have been here longer.”
Johnathan Foege, who stars as Captain Hook, and Drake Lee, who plays the crocodile and the Indian Chief, have learned a lot over their nine and eight years with the playhouse, respectively.
“I plan on a career in law in the future, so it definitely helps with my ambitions in law because it builds a stage presence that’s really necessary when you’re presenting in front of a court,” Johnathan, 18, said. “I’ve done mock trial competitions before where they said you have an incredible presence in front of the court room, and it’s just because you get very used to speaking in front of large crowds and projecting your voice and making yourself heard.”
Lee, 18, added that role-playing will help him in his future career in the psychology field.
Both are looking forward to going out with a bang for what’s likely to be their final show with the playhouse.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Johnathan said. “It’s good to open doors and move on, but it’s sad to say goodbye to old friends and good memories.”
Acting on stage with Johnathan is his younger brother, Alex Foege, a 16-year-old Ormond Beach resident who plays Smee, Captain Hook’s right-hand man.
“Obviously, Mrs. Kathy, the director, she knows we’re brothers, so she’ll try sometimes to give us some roles with a nice dynamic between them, so we can kind of work it out between each other and get some interesting kind of stuff going on on stage,” Alex said. “Being brothers, we know how each other are, and so, if we have roles where we can just kind of mesh with each other every now and then, it’s always just good fun to have a brother on stage.”
Thompson said she has watched her student actors improve over the years. They’ve become her second family.
“It’s a mixed blessing,” Thompson said. “I love working with them every summer. I just enjoyed so much watching them blossom and grow both in talent and skill, but then I watch them grow up and move on to college and it’s like, ‘Ahhh.’”
Ormond Beach 12-year-old Wesley Tankersley is making his performance debut as John Darling, Wendy’s brother.
“It’s super exciting, and it’s just really fun to be around a lot of people who like the same things I do,” he said.
Many of the actors hope to continue acting as a hobby, but Rebekah and Taylor said they dream of performing on Broadway one day.
“Reach for the stars, right?” Taylor said.