Enter a magical world in CTE’s ‘James and the Giant Peach Jr.’

Roald Dahl's magical world comes to life as the Children's Theatre of Elgin presents “James and the Giant Peach Jr.”

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 14, at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. Tickets are $16 for general admission and $14 for students and seniors, and can be purchased at or by calling (847) 214-7152.

The Saturday performance will feature American Sign Language interpretation. A sensory friendly preview at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11, aims to accommodate individuals with diverse sensory needs, including those with epilepsy, autism, or other conditions that make attending a standard theatrical presentation difficult. Free registration is available for this performance at

From the mind that gave the world Matilda and Willy Wonka, this adaptation of the classic novel by Roald Dahl follows the story of a boy named James as he embarks on an epic adventure in … a giant peach. James, neglected and mistreated by his aunts, is ordered to cut down the old fruit tree. Inside, he finds a magical potion that creates a gigantic peach. Leaving his gloomy life behind, James sets out on the ocean inside the peach. Inside, he meets a charming and quirky group of insects, and they all go together on a journey of danger, excitement, and self-discovery. The show's narrative and catchy songs offer an uplifting look at friendship, courage, and the wonder of childhood imagination.

“’James and the Giant Peach’ brings me back to a simpler time, when there was time in the summer and during school breaks for endless reading and imagining,” said director Sarah Robertson, a CTE alumni herself. “The silliness of the story shown on stage made me fall in love with childlike tales all over again. My hope is that it does the same for the audience.”

Adding to the show's appeal is a talented cast consisting of more than 100 local students from second to ninth grade. Behind the scenes, CTE's Technical Apprenticeship Program provides valuable hands-on experience to eighth- through 12th-graders in the technical aspects of theater production.

From left, Carmen True, Bella Ciancio and Lucas Weber portray ladahlords in Children's Theatre of Elgin's production of “James and the Giant Peach Jr.” Courtesy of Children's Theatre of Elgin

“Putting on an amazing show is always a priority, and I think you’ll see that the kids have delivered on that expectation,” Robertson said. “However, the main focus during rehearsals is building community and building young leaders who are role models for their peers. In making this our priority, our show naturally becomes stronger. The community these children build offstage is shown by their presence together on stage. Their ability to lead by example to their peers and treat everyone with respect and love is unmatched. These are wonderful young actors in which their parents and the community at large can be extremely proud of.”

About Children’s Theatre of Elgin

Children’s Theatre of Elgin/Fox Valley Theatre Company is an Illinois 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation in-residence at the Elgin Community College Arts Center. The organization is supported in part by the Palmer Foundation, ComEd Powering the Arts, Grand Victoria Foundation, Target, The Seigle Foundation, the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission, the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, Elgin Community College, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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