Bringing the magic to a Sidney stage

Sidney Dance Company brings ‘Peter Pan’ to life for spring musical

By Blythe Alspaugh - [email protected]

SIDNEY — Faith, trust and a little pixie dust will be coming to the Historic Sidney Theatre in March.

“There are a lot of people in Sidney who may not be able to go down to Dayton and see a show, or see professional theatre, and that’s why I think our productions and other community theatre productions are important, especially in smaller places,” Sidney Dance Company Artistic Director Molly McFarland said.

“Peter Pan” is a show that has been part of McFarland’s artistic career many times in the past, and this is the first time she’s been able to approach the musical from a director standpoint. Outside of Cats, McFarland says that the show has been her biggest undertaking during her time with the Sidney Dance Company.

“The sets, the props, there’s a lot of extra stuff. Neverland is such a magical place, and we’ve taken it that extra sort of magic,” McFarland said. “That’s probably my biggest thrill, doing this job at all, is being able to have my own vision for things and bring that to life. Every director has certain things they want to make sure are highlighted and important and come across in our show, and for my version, I think it’s just the magic and excitement.”

Part of the magic in the show comes from the Sidney Dance Company’s partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County. Big Brothers Big Sisters aims to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships with area youth and to help them achieve their full potential. The partnership between the Sidney Dance Company and Big Brothers Big Sisters has allowed youth in the program to be part of the Company’s production of Peter Pan, when they otherwise might not have been able to be involved.

“We have always tried to include in our productions, children who may have not had the means to participate in other productions, whether it’s financially, or time, or even knowing about opportunities,” McFarland said.

The program covers the cost of costumes and any expenses that may be incurred during the show, so that youth in the program are able to participate freely.

“We really want to bring them in. We find that kids who do stuff like this early on have a better approach to school, to family life — being part of a group of people who are all supporting each other and all working toward one goal gives them a sense of teamwork and a sense of bonding with other people in the community,” McFarland said. “It’s really a stepping stone for those who might not have otherwise had the opportunity to get involved in just one show, and then from there, they can participate again, or they can go on to something else, but it opens the doors for them.”

McFarland said that they plan on continuing with the program as much as they can in the future.

“Not only do we get people who are interested in working with us in the future, but for what it brings to them, the value is—I can’t even put an amount on it, for a kid to be able to experience that. It’s remarkable,” McFarland said.

Cast for the show includes Ben Arcikauskas, Lydia Cavinder, Killarney Cooper, Myals Durand, Brendan Green, Lena Hamilton, Taylor Heeter, Emilia Horner, Melody Joines, Henry McFarland, Mia McFarland, Eli Nash, Wyatt Nash, Stella Noe, John Paul Reese, Beau Paul, Elizabeth Shaw, Brock Swiger, Adelyn Swiss, Sumire Tamura, Charlotte Teasley, Arelia Varno, Preston Varno, Addison Wentz and Brandon White.

Company I includes Nora Aiken, Anika Arcikauskas, Mallory Godwin, Anthony Kellner, Kara Kellner, Lauren King, Katie Kogge, Cheyenne Maher, Dominic Reese, Mariana Reese and Logan Shaw. Company II includes Colleen Chalfant, Dublin Cooper, O’Keefe Cooper, Lexi Elliott, Portia Hill, Elayna Kew, Alena Reese, Catherine Smedley, Elizabeth Smedley, Summer Sprowl, Molly Keiser and Emma Poeppelman.

The orchestr, conducted by Maureen Joines, includes Lea Baldwin, Elise Bell, Alex Blosser, Teckla Dando, Jane Freytag, Pam George, Joyce Jacoby, Landen Johnson, Kendra Krouskop-Smith, Deb Mertz, Jonathan Millhouse, Stacy Morris, Rick Reiss, Bob Schroerlucke, Annie Shilt, Franklin Streb, Nathaniel Streb and Amanda Yoh.

“Peter Pan” will be performed at the Historic Sidney Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, through Sunday, March 6, with an additional matinee performance on Saturday, March 5, at 2 p.m. Tickets are available online at Cost is $17 for adults and $12 for students and seniors.

“Peter Pan” is a musical based on the play by Sir J.M. Barrie with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh; additional lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green; music by Morris “Moose” Charlap; additional music by Julie Styne. The show as originally directed, choreographed and adapted by Jerome Robbins.

“Peter Pan” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. For more information, visit

Sidney Dance Company brings ‘Peter Pan’ to life for spring musical

By Blythe Alspaugh

[email protected]

Reach the writer at [email protected]

Reach the writer at [email protected]