Even superintendent will sing, dance

Olympia School District to put on ‘Peter Pan’ to raise money for foundation’s teacher grants

lpemberton@theolympian.comFebruary 18, 2014 

Some people were born to perform on a theater stage. Olympia School District Superintendent Dick Cvitanich doesn’t think he’s one of them.

“It makes me nervous, because everyone works so hard to get it right,” said Cvitanich, who is part of a pirate chorus and plays Tick-Tock the Crocodile in a local production of “Peter Pan” opening this week.

The musical — which features elaborate sets and scenes that involve flying — will show at Olympia High School’s Performing Arts Center to raise money for the Olympia School District Education

Foundation.

The production’s cast features about 70 Olympia School District employees and family members.

“We have teachers, we have a school board member, the superintendent … we have paraprofessionals — you name it, they’re in here, and their families,” said director Kathy Dorgan.

Proceeds will go to the foundation’s teaching grants program, according to Bob Hahn , a board member of the nonprofit.

Each year, teachers can apply for up to $1,500 from the foundation for books, science kits, field trip fees and other items to enhance their classroom instruction, he said.

“It all goes back to the kids and their education,” Hahn said.

As in years past with other big-name productions, the foundation hopes to raise about $30,000 to distribute while also covering the “Peter Pan” royalty fees, costumes, set design and equipment, he said.

“Because Peter Pan flies, we‘ve rented flying gear from a firm in Las Vegas, and a flight director came out,” Hahn added. “This is the first time in five years that we have live flying at the performance. It will be very exciting — very spectacular.”

Cvitanich was hired in July 2012, and this is his second musical for the foundation. Before last year, he had never been part of a stage production, he said.

He doesn’t have any major lines with this year’s show, and he’s OK with that.

“But I do get to sing quite a bit with the chorus, and I like that a lot,” the superintendent said. “And I get to do my attempt at what some people might call dancing.”

One of the show’s leads is Marshall Middle School humanities teacher Jason Haws, who plays Captain Hook.

Haws has been involved in Olympia’s community theater scene for several years, but he said the foundation’s annual musical holds a special place in his heart.

“Kids get to see their teachers sing and dance, which is a lot of fun,” he said.

“It’s pretty rare for a school district to have this kind of consistency for doing a musical. I’m not sure where else in the country there is this kind of opportunity.”

If you go

What: A production of “Peter Pan” to benefit the Olympia School District Education Foundation, featuring about 70 school district employees and family members.

When: 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, with 2 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets: Range from $10-16, available at seatyourself.biz/olympiasd.

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 lpemberton@theolympian.com @Lisa_Pemberton

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