ART Connections: Bringing Both Art and Bugs to Life in James and the Giant Peach

January 24, 2017 at 12:30 pm
Both students and teachers enjoy the story of James and the Giant Peach brought to life on stage by A.R.T. performers.

    This past holiday season, the A.R.T. ’s rendition of James and the Giant Peach, a bizarre account of life size insects, crotchety relatives, and magical fruit, hit a high note with many whom would believe to be its toughest crowd: elementary school students. Almost 180 students and staff from the Fletcher Maynard Academy in Cambridge, and Allston’s Gardner Pilot Academy and Jackson Mann School attended the show. With Harvard University supporting and hosting the performance in its Art Repertory Theatre, students came together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of author Ronald Dahl through playwright David’s Wood’s adaptation of the literary tale.
    Prior to the show, Harvard delivered hard copies of the book to each participating classroom teacher to help set the stage for the play. Upon arriving at the theatre, students were given paper, hand puppets geared towards the interactive segments of the show, where students were invited to call out clues to the characters and engage in the narrative’s plot. The compilation of paper seagulls, sharks, and bits of bobbing peach (yoga balls) throughout the auditorium brought the play to life and augmented the performance that much more for the children.