WELLS, Maine — For student actors at Wells Junior High, learning the right steps and memorizing lines can be tough. But the cast of Peter Pan knows there are people out there who have "real life" problems, like not having enough to eat.
"We give back through our arts. We affect people's lives by doing arts and entertainment and taking them out of their daily lives. But what else can we do as global citizens to give back to our community?" says play Director Josie Perkins.
Her students decided to use their production of Peter Pan as a way to help make sure some of their peers will have food to eat at home. Audience members who attend the play are asked to come with a canned good in hand. Students will then use the to start a backpack program at the Junior High.
"A lot of kids don't have food when they get home. Their food is the school lunch," says Lilian Sittig, a sixth grader in Wells. "We put non-perishable foods and can foods in backpacks and send them home with kids on the weekends."
The play is also sparking a dialogue about the struggles that food insecurity can bring. Talking about hunger is teaching students that they shouldn't feel shame if they need a leg up. It's also showing future Wells actors and actresses that they can find creative ways to take action.
Opening night for Peter Pan at the Wells Junior High is Thursday, March 28.