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Musical James and the Giant Peach

December 20, 2014 @ 11:00 am - December 21, 2014 @ 4:00 pm

Bay Area Children’s Theatre Brings New Musical, James and the Giant Peach, to San Ramon, Saturday, December 20

Green Grasshopper with James and Ladybug
Green Grasshopper with James and Ladybug

A new musical version of James and the Giant Peach, based on Roald Dahl’s beloved book of the same name, “floats” into San Ramon on Saturday, December 20 and will “anchor” for the weekend at the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center, 10550 Albion Road, with two shows on Saturday and two on Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Presented by the Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT), James and the Giant Peach tells of James’s escape from his awful aunts, as a bit of magic causes the peach in their garden to grow so big that it falls off the tree, rolls down the hill, plunges over the cliffs of Dover, and takes off across the ocean, with James and some astounded insects aboard.

Families looking for a holiday treat will enjoy this classic tale re-imagined with vibrant singing and dancing in the finest tradition of musical theatre.

James and the Giant Peach is written bychildren’s playwright-educator Timothy Allen McDonald, based on Dahl’s tale, with music and lyrics by Tony Award-nominated composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.  Nina Meehan directs the production.  Recommended for ages 4 and up.

TICKETS:$22 adults, $20 seniors, $18 children, $13 groups (minimum 15)

 BOX OFFICE:  www.bactheatre.org  or (925) 973-3343

About the Artists

McDonald created Music Theatre International’s Education Division and iTheatrics, which adapts Broadway musicals for student performers, creates new musicals for young audiences, and provides training and resources to educators in musical theatre.


Pasek and Paul are the Tony-nominated songwriters of the Broadway musical, A Christmas Story, which opened November 2012 and enjoyed a record-breaking run at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.  The duo also wrote the music and lyrics for the award-winning, off-Broadway musical, Dogfight. As television songwriters, their original songs were featured on Season 2 of NBC’s Smash.


Meehan is executive director and a founding company member of the Bay Area Children’s Theatre. In addition to James and the Giant Peach, she has directed Little Women, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Pippi Longstocking, and many other BACT productions. She is an award-winning youth theatre director, most recently winning Outstanding Achievements in Acting at the Broadway, Jr. Festival in Atlanta, GA, for her youth production of Pirates of Penzance. Meehan has been recognized as one of the 35 faces of Theatre Bay Area and a “Mom who Rocks” by Red Tricycle. She has worked throughout the Bay Area as an actress, educator, storyteller, and director. She serves on the Theatre Services Committee for Theatre Bay Area and on the board of directors for TYA/USA. She received her BS in Theatre from Northwestern University and her masters in nonprofit administration from the University of San Francisco.

About the Cast

Derek  Travis Collard (Green Grasshopper)

Collard has performed with BACT since 2011. Previously, he was seen as Frog in A Year with Frog and Toad, Mr. Pinkerton in the hit musical Pinkalicious and as Dad in Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical. Other recent Bay Area shows include Company (Bobby), Les Miserables (Thenardier), Into the Woods (Narrator/Mysterious Man), Beauty & The Beast (Lumiere), The Full Monty (Harold), A Christmas Carol and She Loves Me with CenterREP, Little Shop of Horrors (Mr. Mushnik – Shellie Award Winner), Hairspray (Male Authority), Oliver! (Mr Sowerberry, Dr Grimwig) with CCMT; Jubilee, Wildcat and High Spirits (42nd Street Moon). Other Regional credits: Angels (Pre-Broadway Tour), Christmas Carol at the McCarter Theatre, Nunsense A-Men (Sister Amnesia), Bye Bye Birdie (National Tour), Oliver (National Tour), The Gold Wuthakee at Lincoln Center, A Funny Thing Happened … Forum (Hysterium), You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Snoopy), Funny at the Old Globe, Pageant (Miss Great Plains), Sweeney Todd (Tobias), Rocky Horror Show (Riff Raff), Drood! (Bazzard).

Sean Fenton (Ladahlord)

Fenton has been a regular contributor to BACT since 2005. This is his 16th production with the company. On stage, Sean was last seen in BACT’s musical adaptation of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Other favorite roles include “Xiao Hai” in Min Kahng’s The Song of the Nightingale (Altarena Playhouse) and “Song” in M. Butterfly (Custom Made Theatre Co.), for which he was nominated for a San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award (Principal Actor, Drama). Sean has also served as music director/supervisor for 10 BACT productions, including the world premiere of Ivy + Bean, The Musical and the national tours of Strega Nona: The Musical and The Magic School Bus, Live! The Climate Challenge. He also directed BACT’s productions of Pinkalicious and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Sean is an arts researcher and consultant based in San Francisco.

Michelle Navarrete (Spiker)

A Bay Area native, Naverrete was last seen with BACT in Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical. She played recently in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot with The Aluminous Collective. Past New York credits include Sonnets for an Old Century, Jose can Speak, The House of Bernarda Alba, and Richard II.  She received her BFA in Theatre with a concentration in Acting from Marymount Manhattan College.

G. Betsy Picart (Ladybug)

Picart is program coordinator of BACT’s Youth Education Program and has performed in many BACT main stage productions, including, most recently, as Mama in Five Little Monkeys. Picart earned her B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of the Pacific, and plans to pursue her master’s degree in Theatre for Young Audiences in London next fall.

Nick Quintell (Centipede) 

Quintell makes his BACT debut in this production. He was most recently seen as William Barfee in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Berkeley Playhouse and can be seen this February as Frankie in Forever Plaid at PCRT. Other Bay Area credits include: Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls and Straw/Knight in Shrek the Musical (Diablo Theatre Company) William Barfee in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Altarena Playhouse & California Conservatory) Big Deal in West Side Story, Cogsworth in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (TVRT), and Jack in Into the Woods (CCPA).

Jack Sale (James Henry Trotter) 

Sale was last seen in Christmas with the Crawfords at the Lincoln Center Theater in Yountville, CA. Other favorites include The Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz at the Diablo Theater Company, Tulsa in Gypsy at Contra Costa Civic Theatre and Pvt. Vale in 42nd Street Moon’s Strike Up the Band. He has worked with the American Conservatory Theater, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, The Cutting Ball, and California Shakespeare Theatre. A graduate of UCLA’s Ray Bolger musical theater program (summa cum laude), he works in documentary film production for HBO, has appeared in independent films, various commercials, is a published playwright, a hand model, and hopes to continue a life upon the wicked stage.

Maurice André San-Chez (Earthworm)

San-Chez earned a B.F.A. in Music Theatre from the University of Texas El Paso, He was recently seen in BACT’s Five Little Monkeys and Knuffle Bunny.  He has performed in Carrie the Musical with Ray of Light Theatre, The Wiz with Berkeley Playhouse, and as various characters for the Youth Aware Educational Theatre program at New Conservatory Theatre Center.San-Chez is a teaching artist with BACT, Berkeley Playhouse, and New Conservatory Theatre Center.

Caroline Schneider (Sponge)  

Recent credits include Monkey 5 in Five Little Monkeys (BACT), Karen Weston in August: Osage County (Contra Costa Civic Theatre), and Daisy Hilton in Sideshow (Altarena Playhouse).

Rachel Seele (Spider)

Seele most recently appeared as Sophie W./Mom in Ivy + Bean, the Musical (BACT), Peter Pan in the East Bay Premiere of Shrek the Musical (DTC), and Emcee in the west coast premiere of Brahman/I (CFT). Known as Miss Seele in her third grade classroom, Seele also directs her own theater program for grades K-8 at St. John the Baptist, El Cerrito.

About the Bay Area Children’s Theatre

The Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2004, serves more than 60,000 children and adults throughout the Bay Area, offering professional performances inspired by children’s literature as well as in-school and after-school theatre instruction for children. We believe in the power of theatre to build community, spark creativity, and introduce children to the larger world in which we live.

Our Mission:To inspire young audiences with imaginative productions, introduce children of all backgrounds to the excitement of live theatre, and create an engaging, entertaining, and educational environment in which children and their families can explore and enjoy the arts.


How We Carry Out Our Mission:
  • Bring high quality, professional theatre to children and their families, with artists who create vibrant worlds that are intriguing to young audiences
  • Encourage young people to explore literature, language, and the arts by producing stage adaptations of great children’s books
  • Engage pre-kindergartners in the world of theatre with productions specially designed for them
  • Develop and perform exciting new work for the stage
  • Reach out to children who might not otherwise experience live theatre with free tickets and touring productions at local schools, libraries and community centers
  • Create touring productions for young audiences nationwide
  • Introduce children to the joy of performance with theatre classes in schools and community arts centers through our Youth Education Program.



December 20, 2014 @ 11:00 am
December 21, 2014 @ 4:00 pm
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Bay Area Children’s Theatre
(510) 524-2941


Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center
10550 Albion Rd,
San Ramon, CA 94582 United States
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