Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale of a boy, his insect friends and their amazing journey across the ocean on a giant piece of fruit – "James & The Giant Peach" – will be performed March 15, 16 and 17 on the South Seneca Middle-High School Auditorium stage, in Ovid, NY.  

The production will be directed by Tina Coville-Bauder, with choreography by Chad Eastman and vocal direction by Dr. Nancy Radloff. Technical direction is by Jared Pratt with Costumes by Nicole Nelson. Curtain times for Friday and Saturday evenings are at 7:30 PM. Curtain time for the Sunday matinee is 2 PM. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10 for general admission and $9 for students and senior citizens.  

Tina, who has actually directed a one act version (non musical) and a two act version (non-musical) of the same play at South Seneca “quite some time ago,” noted she was particularly excited to do a musical rendition this year.

“As a director, choosing a musical production with a great message and excellent music is the most exciting part,” Tina said. “At the heart of the story ‘James & The Giant Peach’ is about the importance of courage and friendship and how it's never too late to make friends. It is about how a family can be built from the people in your life that support you. James' relationship with the strange insects living in the peach allows him to learn that sometimes the best friendships arise from the most unexpected encounters.  These amazing messages combined with some pretty awesome musical numbers really makes this musical exceptionally exciting!”

Tina was also very excited to tackle such a great show with a young and hard-working cast.

“We have a small and mighty cast,” she said. “Our cast is made up of 14 students ranging from grades 6-12, with the bulk of our cast coming from the middle level grades. It has been exciting to watch the evolution and growth of each of our cast members as they grow into their characters and work together with the Production Team of adults to create our production.”

The cast is led by senior Abby Sherry. Sherry is a senior and has also been  the student leader of the South Seneca theater department throughout “the covid era.” Tina described her as “an inspiration to all of our younger players and most beloved!”

Abby was equally excited for this year’s show.

“I think for me, I am most excited for audiences to see how starkly different this show is when compared to any show I’ve done in the past,”she said. “‘James & The Giant Peach’ is hilarious and whimsical while also tackling some heavy topics.”

“For me personally,” she continued, “we had to get a little creative with my character. We spliced two characters together to form one "mega Ladahlord" that combines the narrator and the part of the Spider. The challenging part of this has been my mind has to be in two different places constantly as my character is frequently in two places at once. Although this hasn’t been the easiest thing to achieve, as an actor it’s been an exciting challenge to tackle.”

Brooke Jennings, an eighth grader, plays the role of Aunt Spiker in the show. She too was eager for opening night.

“I think audiences will enjoy the different characters and how hard we have worked to bring them to life,” Brooke said. “The most challenging part in preparing for this performance is having a cast that is young and new to theater. This story is ultimately trying to tell us that family comes in all different shapes and sizes, and that our family is who we make it.”

Tina was quick to note how important this year’s show is not only to the middle school and high school cast and peers, but also the South Seneca Elementary School.

“The Falcon Players are excited to share our production with our community, but we are exceptionally excited to share our message with our elementary students in the district,” she said. 

“The Falcon Players have given copies of the story of ‘James & The Giant Peach’ to each Elementary Classroom in our Interlaken building, with the hope that they will be able to read the story before we come over to perform our preview of the show for them next week. This is a long standing tradition in our district that until this year has been set aside since COVID. We are really looking forward to performing some numbers from the show and helping to bring the characters in the story to life for our elementary audiences! Our hope is that our collaboration around this wonderful book and story will build further excitement around reading and all of the themes of the story. Children need a fun way to learn about friendship and problem solving, which is exactly why ‘James & The Giant Peach is so valuable.”

It’s Roald Dahl’s amazingly popular James and the Giant Peach – a musical for the whole family to enjoy! Featuring a wickedly tuneful score by the Tony Award-nominated team of Pasek and Paul (Broadway’s Smash Hit Dear Evan Hansen, Dogfight, A Christmas Story the Musical and the blockbuster feature-film The Greatest Showman) and a curiously quirky book by Timothy Allen McDonald (Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley), critics rave: James and the Giant Peach is a “MASTERPEACH!”

When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that results in a tremendous peach… and launches a journey of enormous proportions. Suddenly, James finds himself IN the center of the gigantic peach – among human-sized insects with equally oversized personalities – but, after it falls from the tree and rolls into the ocean, the group faces hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements. Thanks to James’ quick wit and creative thinking, they learn to live and work together as a family. The dangerous voyage is a success, but the adventure takes a whole new twist once they land on the Empire State Building. This show will quickly become one of your all-time favorites!