Silver Creek Theatre Department’s Magical Musical


Photo courtesy of Ollie O’Brien

Tracy Knick, Rhett North, Kendle Butterworth, and William Legg sit in the audience of the Silver Creek theatre, taking notes on students auditioning for the spring musical.

Lights gleam down on the stage, shining bright into the eyes of the student standing there. Pit orchestra conductor, Rhett North, plays a note on the piano as the rest of the directing team sits in the audience watching intently, and the backing track for the song ‘Middle of a Moment’ from the musical ‘James and The Giant Peach’ begins.

Auditions for ‘James and the Giant Peach’, Silver Creek High School’s recently announced school musical, happened on February 28. Just three months before the last day of school, May 25, 2023, the musical only has two months of rehearsal before the performances on May 5 and 6. Because of that, the time commitment for the production, directed by Kendle Butterworth, a new Silver Creek director, is long and tiresome.

‘James and the Giant Peach,’ a musical based off of the book with the same title by Roald Dahl, is about a young boy, James, who goes on an incredible adventure. After the untimely death of his parents. James goes to live with his two aunts, who treat him as their own personal punching bag, making him clean and work and sleep in a cellar. One night, magic enters James’s life, throwing him into a world of giant flying peaches, and huge dancing bugs.

“It’s how James’s life changes,” North explains. “The musical is written by the same people who wrote ‘Dear Evan Hansen’, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. And this show’s really jazzy, and it’s got a lot of wacky exaggerations.”

Rehearsals for the musical began officially on March 2, and since then, rehearsal is every Monday through Friday afterschool from 3-5:30 p.m.

“As a director I really enjoy fast paced high energy theater,” Butterworth continues, “I emphasize a lot of creativity and collaboration and creating community.”

The beginning of each rehearsal is taken up by every actor introducing themselves, and sometimes playing fun mini games to warm up their bodies, and minds. Afterwards, Butterworth dives straight into the show, working on choreography and blocking every second.

“I’d like to have a steampunk kind of vibe, Tim Burton vibe, emphasizing a lot of the characterization, and emphasizing the magic,” Butterworth said.

The vision for the musical is a big one, but with a volunteer meeting that asked parents to help out with the production of the show, this vision is becoming reality.

“I’m really excited to get to be in the chorus, and get to be a part of the musical by singing,” freshman Gavin Mcintire, who plays Grasshopper in the musical, said.

“I’m going to be playing in the pit, so I’m excited to be able to— usually I’m in different ensembles with different instruments but it’s one ensemble where I get to play all my instruments,” junior Louise Larsen said.

With all the buzz around the musical, and the fast paced, high energy direction of Kendle Butterworth, the upcoming Silver Creek production is sure to bring some magic to the end of the school year.