Update: James and the Giant Peach Tech Week and Preparation for Opening Night


With Thanksgiving around the corner and opening night soon after, the cast and crew of Decatur’s newest musical production, James and the Giant Peach, are hurrying to get the show ready for viewers.

November 28th, the Wednesday after Thanksgiving break, is opening night. There are two casts of the show: Cast A and Cast B. Opening night, which is free to the public, will be Cast A’s first performance.

Friday was the last day of Tech Week, the process where the Technical Theatre class and the cast of the show put everything together. This includes light, sound, blocking (where the actors should move on the stage), acting, props, singing and dancing.

The Technical Theatre class, which trains the crew for working on the show, is new to Decatur High School this year. The class teaches students how to build props, control lights and more.

Dominic Cullen, who plays the lead role for Cast B (James), is both excited and stressed at the thought of being the star for the first time.

“Even though we were rushing to get it finished, I feel like we are going to do a really, really good job,” Cullen said.

He also believes his big role actually makes Tech Week a bit easier for him. Since the show’s leads are double casted, he gets a day to rest while the other cast does a run through. The ensemble, however, is in every show.

However, this doesn’t mean Tech Week is a piece of cake for those who get a day off. Fiona Tagami plays Cast B’s Spider, who is a motherly figure to James and is one of the larger roles.

“Tech Week is notorious for being stressful because you have to stay here for long hours after school,” Tagami said, “and we don’t have any time for homework.”

For Tagami, this means that there is less time to memorize her lines, especially with other extracurricular commitments. Tagami says that this is more of a problem since most memorization is done outside of school because the rehearsals are usually in class.

The tech crew was also hard at work during Tech Week. Many students, some who are new to the crew, finished props, set up lighting and prepared the stage for the actors.

Alina Sprouse-Mickevicius, a veteran crew member, says that Tech Week is “the first time that everybody is in one place” and that “you take each component and make it [the show] a whole.”

Although Sprouse-Mickevicius has been a part of every show that has occurred during her one and a half years in high school, it isn’t just about the actual musical for her.

“I do it for the experience. I may not like every musical I help with, but it is always a fun experience,” Sprouse-Mickevicius said.

This experience will come to life as James and the Giant Peach for five separate shows, the last one being on December 2nd.