Trapeze training lets Langley Fine Arts School Peter Pan soar

Brooke Wade has her lines down as Capt. Hook in Peter Pan.

The Grade 12 student is rockin’ the stylized pirate costume, swords and all.

And the Langley Fine Arts School student has very distinctive makeup designed by a fellow classmate.

But the school’s production of Peter Pan also includes something that would give pause to even the most experienced actor – flight.

To ace the role, Brooke has calmed the butterflies in her stomach and hooked into the harness hidden under her costume and join the Darling children (Wendy, John and Michael), Tinkerbell, and of course, Peter in the show that lifts off starting Wednesday in the Chief Sepass Theatre.

“I have kind of an irrational fear of heights,” she admitted. “It’s a very unnatural, strange feeling.”

She and the other students soar under the supervision of West Coast Flying Trapeze.

With the butterflies under control, she can concentrate on interpreting her role as the main villain. Brooke said this show offers a darker version compared to the popular 1953 Disney film.

She said Hook provides an important counterweight in the story. Peter and the children are forward looking, too young to realize that time marches on whether they like it or not. Hook, on the other hand, has lived and sees his best years behind him.

“It’s scary for everyone to grow up,” she commented.

The clock is running down on Brooke’s time in high school. She started at Langley Fine Arts in Grade 8 and said an arts-based education has “opened me up to the world of drama. This is where I want to be.”

She has performed in the school’s productions of Some Like It Hot, and as Prospero in The Tempest.

The show runs April 18 to 20 and 24 to 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Chief Sepass Theatre. Tickets are $14 and available at The four matinees have all sold out.

The show features up to three different actors in each of the lead roles, and making Brooke’s female Hook a unique twist on the tale.

But she also identifies with Peter Pan and doesn’t plan to go onto post-secondary school right after graduation.

“I’m not done being a kid,” she chuckled.

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Tinkerbell (Nao Shishikura) does battle with one of Capt. Hook’s pirates. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Several of the characters in Peter Pan take flight in the Langley Fine Arts School production. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Jayden Holoman and Jackson Boucher carry the show. They are positioned backstage and are the counterweights that allow the actors to fly. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

On cue, Jackson Boucher scales a massive ladder to raise and lower one of the trapeze lines used to let Peter Pan characters fly. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Maxwell VanVolkingburgh and Emily Terrett take to the air in the Langley Fine Arts School production of Peter Pan. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Peter Pan (Maxwell VanVolkingburgh) gets some support from John Darling (Joseph Deley) and Michael Darling (Anakin Barnes). (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Langley Fine Arts School’s production of Peter Pan involves several of the characters flying, courtesy of training through West Coast Flying Trapeze. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

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