From left, Josiah Vander Griend, Isabella Almlie, Faith Schmitt, Abby Rhoads, Kristin Hoekema and Grecelyn Hubbard practice a scene on Monday. (Hailey Palmer/Lynden Tribune)

Play explores staying young and lighthearted about life

LYNDEN — Students of Lynden Christian High School will be taking the stage this weekend for performances of “Peter and Wendy.” 

The story is about staying young and the pros and cons of each, director Allison Ross said. With a strong senior cast, the play was fitting and appropriate for this year, she said.

“This is a great show for the particular students that are here right now,” Ross said. 

Senior Josiah Vander Griend said one of the messages of the play is to focus on the lighter things in life and relax. 

“There’s so much that happens around the world that’s just so crazy and this is like ‘just rest, just play,’” he said. 

The production uses students in all roles, from the acting to the lighting and sound controls. 

When the show opens on Friday, there’ll be some added adrenaline in the cast instead of nerves, Vander Griend said. 

“It’s not too different from a dress rehearsal,” he said. “The difference is now there are people watching what I’m doing. It definitely gives you a lot of energy.”

Ross said everyone has been running through the show for a few weeks now fine-tuning details and specific moments of the action.

“We’re adding the costumes, the lights and the sound — that’s an elevating experience,” Ross said on Monday. “We’ll do two dress rehearsals. That’s the fun part, you get to add the audience.”

Vander Griend said one of the reasons he’s been involved with theater at LC is the appealing aspect of being able to play a character. He said discovering and learning a new character is an exciting part of the process.

“When you start rehearsing with this character you don’t really know that much about, the whole time through the rehearsal process it’s like getting to know someone,” Vander Griend said. “You’re learning more and more about this character and going into the character. By the time the show comes, it’s like second nature and you kind of know the intentions behind the action of your character.”

Seeing how characters are developed and presented on stage is all part of the fun, he said. 

For senior Isabella Almlie, the play takes a look at doing things for oneself.

“I think this play touches on selfishness,” she said. “Peter, for one, is a very selfish character and it greatly affects everyone around him. I think that, hopefully, will come across to the audience and have some sort of impact.” 

The play explores some of the darker themes of the Peter Pan story, but ultimately relies on happy thoughts, Ross said. 

The cast and crew of the production have written down happy thoughts on chalkboards that will be incorporated with the stage design. Ross said audience members will also have an opportunity to submit their own happy thoughts through the play.

The show opens this Friday, with another showing on Saturday. Two more performances are next week on Thursday, Oct. 24, and Saturday, Oct. 26. All showings are at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at