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Posted on July 19, 2016

‘James and the Giant Peach Jr.’

4 p.m. July 30

Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre  The cast of the performance stand in costume and pose

The Mon Valley Performing Arts Academy wraps up its 2016 summer theater experience for young performers with a fully staged production of the children’s musical “James and the Giant Peach Jr.”

More than 30 Mon Valley Performers, or MVPs, are participating in this year’s academy, which began July 18. Students study and rehearse from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Adapted from British author Roald Dahl’s 1961 novel, “James and the Giant Peach” follows the adventures of James, an orphaned British boy. It was made into a Disney movie in 1996.  

“Choosing a show for Summer Experience is not a task I take lightly and quality scripts that will challenge the kids and has a great message is important to me,” said Dr. Michele Pagen, the academy’s artistic director and co-chair of Cal U’s Department of Music and Theatre. “The show also contains many characters so that all children get the experience of creating a character (or often-characters).”

“James and the Giant Peach fits all of my qualifications and the musical follows the story closely, so you'll see most of the characters come to life in front of your eyes! “

Get tickets

“James and the Giant Peach Jr.” is open to the public.

Ticket price is $8 for adults, $4 for children. Tickets may be purchased at the door.

To order tickets in advance, leave a message at 724-938-4220.

Visitor parking is available in the Vulcan Garage, off Third Street near the campus entrance. Get directions and a campus map

About the academy

Now in its 19th year, the Mon Valley Performing Arts Academy is hosted by Cal U’s Department of Music and Theatre. Its summer program gives students ages 8-17 an opportunity to take acting, voice and dance classes, then present a musical complete with stage sets, costumes and props. 

The academy is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre, the same organization that has accredited Cal U’s Bachelor of Arts in Theatre program since 2005.