Ollie O’Brien Displays their Talent as James in ”James and the Giant Peach”


Photo curtsey of Mylie Stevens

Ollie O’Brien takes the stage on May 5th portraying the lead character James in the “James and the Giant Peach Musical,” at Silver Creek High school.

The very last musical of the year for Silver Creek High School starred freshman Ollie O’Brien in “James and the Giant Peach.” O’Brien played James and this musical ran May 4th, 5th, and 6th. These shows showcased O’Brien’s talent.

‘James and the Giant Peach,’ is a very interesting musical which follows the life of an orphan boy named James who has had unfortunate things happen to him, and follows his journey.

The auditions for the play were a success. The cast ended up being one of the biggest casts of the year and involved many students at Silver Creek. The rehearsal time was around two months to prepare for their show and Kendle Butterworth was the director of the musical and she worked hard to produce the play. The three nights of the musical brought in a lot of people and seemed to be a success.

O’Brien shares how the auditions went and how they felt about their performance and the shock and doubts they had.

“I actually originally wasn’t planning to audition for James and didn’t even think I’d be able to do the play but then I did it just to see what would happen… I thought I sang the song in my audition well and felt good about it,” O’Brien states.

Butterworth agreed with O’Brien and thought they did amazing in the auditions and Butterworth explained what she saw and why she made the choice to choose O’Brien as the lead.

“Ollie showed a lot of energy, enthusiasm, and lots of projection. It seemed like they were really having fun pretending to be the character,” said Butterworth.

O’Brien explains what drives them to want to be in musicals and what makes them passionate about theater.

“I’m passionate about musical theater because I love to sing and I recently started to love dancing and noticed musical theater mixed these together and I love bringing other people joy,” said O’Brien.

Butterworth noticed that O’Brien put this passion into their role and used it to their advantage to help them succeed during rehearsals and performances.

“Ollie is a very hard worker and takes their theater work very seriously. They also like to have fun with the cast and they were instrumental in building a positive environment for everyone,” states Butterworth.

This hard work and dedication paid off, because O’Brien was able to have an amazing time and experience and for the first time saw what it’s like to be the lead in a musical with such great characters.

“Something special about James is that even though he is portrayed as a sad character… he is also very bold and strong and it was my first time being a lead and James was a bigger than life character so it was a good first lead,” said O’Brien.

Butterworth clearly saw this in the character and noticed O’Brien’s ability and talent to bring the character of James alive.

“Ollie embodied the wide range of emotion in James, from being sad and lonely to learning to use their voice to being really excited about their ideas. Ollie also has a great sense of movement and choreographed one of their solos as well as they helped choreograph,” states Butterworth.

Even with all this preparation, O’Brien felt a little scared when performing on stage the first night, but found ways to motivate them.

“I was very nervous I was going to mess the whole thing up, but I didn’t, and I got on stage and said to myself that I had done this before,” states O’Brien.

This was clearly something that worked because sophomore Mckenna Stevens, went to the play on Friday night and she shared her opinions.

“I really enjoyed the play and I thought the production was amazing and I thought all the cast members did well, especially the lead,” states Stevens.

This play was an experience the cast members won’t forget and next year Silver Creek High School will create even more amazing musicals like this one.

“It was such an incredible experience to be able to perform this magical show with my cast members and get to know them,” said O’Brien.