Grandstreet Theatre

James and the Giant Peach

August 4 - August 13

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When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion which results in a tremendous peach—and launches a journey of enormous proportions. Suddenly James finds himself in the center of the gigantic peach among human-sized insects with equally oversized personalities. After the peach falls from the tree and rolls into the ocean, a once in a lifetime adventure begins. Thanks to James’ quick wit and creative thinking, the residents learn to live and work together as a family. Brought to you by the Tony/Emmy-nominated songwriting team behind the hit musicals A Christmas Story, Dogfight, and the NBC TV show Smash, Pasek and Paul have been called the “Golden Boys of the American Musical Theatre!”

Directed by:  Sarah Butts

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH is presented through special arrangement with MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

James And The Giant Peach Cast

Emma Ackerman


Emma is currently a straight-A, eighth-grade student at Helena Middle School.  She has been dancing and singing her way through life for as long as she’s been alive!  Her most recent roles include Jane in Mary Poppins, Iris in Still Life with Iris, and Little Red in Into the Woods.  Emma has been studying dance, piano and voice since she was three.  She is grateful to the incredible directors who have inspired her and given her incredible guidance: Marianne Adams, Jeff Downing and Retta Leaphart.

Lyla Ackerman


Lyla is a 10-year old, straight-A 4th grader at St. Andrew School in Helena, MT.  Lyla has a contagious zest for life with a profound love of people!  She adores being on stage and has NEVER been cast as a girl!  Her most recent roles include Chip in Beauty and the Beast, Michael in Mary Poppins, and James in James and the Giant Peach.  Lyla receives training in ballet, voice, and piano. She is grateful to her talented teachers, encouraging directors, and loving family members!

Briar Bell


Briar Bell is a rising 9th grader at St. Andrew School. James and the Giant Peach is her 6th show at Grandstreet. Her last couple of shows were Billy Elliot as a Ballet Girl, and Alice in Wonderland Jr. as a main card. She would like to thank Lauren Hanson for helping and having fun with her during rehearsals, her family, and Miriam Dixon for being supportive and always putting a smile on her face.

Jacob Ben-shmuel


Jacob Ben-Shmuel is proud to be making his debut with Grandstreet Theatre this summer. He is currently studying to receive a BFA in Music Theatre from UC Irvine (Spring 2017). Favorite roles include Jamie (The Last Five Years), Sancho Panza (Man of La Mancha), Edgar (Bat Boy) and Usnavi (In the Heights). He would like to thank his family for their undying love and support, even when he acts like a bit of an idiot.

Maximilian DeLoach


Maximilian DeLoach (Earthworm) is very excited to be making his debut at Grandstreet Theatre! He is a student at the University of California Irvine where he studies drama, with a focus on musical theatre. He would like to thank his mother for her constant support, as well as his other friends, family, and teachers, from whom he has learned.

Andy Fuehrer


Andy Fuehrer has grown up with Grandstreet and is thrilled to be a part of James and the Giant Peach. He first appeared on the Grandstreet stage as a homeless man in Annie. His most recent roles include ASM/Sound Board Operator in A Christmas Carol and Joe Spoonapple in Dear Edwina, Jr. Andy enters Helena High School as a Freshman this fall. He thanks his family for their amazing support and creative inspiration!

Aase Hahn


Aase Hahn relishes the opportunity to return to the Grandstreet stage after appearing last winter as a Solicitor in A Christmas Carol. She also appeared as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, an Ensemble member in Mary Poppins, an Enchanted Napkin in Beauty and the Beast, the Little Girl in Ragtime, a fairy in Peter Pan, and a Workhouse Brat in Oliver! When not performing at Grandstreet, you can find Aase on the soccer field, skiing on the ski hill, or adventuring in the mountains with her family.

Lauren Hanson


Lauren, a soon-to-be freshman, is ecstatic to be participating in another show at Grandstreet. Her most recent roles include, Debbie (Billy Elliot), Fezziwhig Daughter (A Christmas Carol), and Snout/Moth (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Lauren would like to thank the wonderful production staff, her fabulous cast mates, and her friends and family for being so supportive.

Dawn Lee Kangas


Dawn Lee Kangas graduated from GSTS and is blessed to work as a teacher and director where she gained her passion for theatre. Dawn has a BFA in Acting from Cornish College of the Arts, Professional Acting Conservatory and a MIT from Seattle University. She has taught for the past 12 years for both the school year and summer school at GSTS. She recently directed, Dear Edwina JR. and was Mrs. Brill in Mary Poppins.

Dustin LaFleur


Dustin Lafleur, from Lafayette, Louisiana, is currently earning his M.F.A. at Western Illinois University. His favorite things are free food, pizza (when it’s not raining) and snickers, especially on Tuesdays.

Kate Loble


Kate Loble is thrilled to be back on the Grandstreet stage for another performance! Her most recent plays through Grandstreet have been, A Christmas Carol and Oklahoma! She would like to thank her friends and family who help keep her going day after day.

Rachel Martorana


Rachel is 15 years old and currently attends Helena High School. She has been involved in Grandstreet for around 2 years now and participates in many school productions. Rachel is very involved in her school a capella group and is a board member in the HHS Thespian Troupe. Some of her most recent roles have included Emily Webb in HHS’s production of Our Town and Rose in Grandstreet Theatre’s Alice in Wonderland Jr.

Ben Misplon

Bobby Cop/ensemble

Ben Misplon is a Sophomore at Western Illinois University, where he  studies Musical Theatre. Ben grew up in Helena and spent most of his time at Grandstreet. His most recent roles have included, Trinculo The Tempest, Ensemble Pippin, and The Scarecrow The Wizard of Oz. Ben would like to thank all of his friends and family for all there love and support.

Gabriel Murphy


Gabriel is beyond grateful to be spending another magical summer with the Grandstreet Theatre. A Kansas native, Gabriel trained with Webster Conservatory and the British American Drama Academy and currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Regionally Gabriel has worked with the Kentucky Repertory Theatre, Great River Shakespeare Festival, The Jungle Theatre, Park Square Theatre, Workhaus Collective, Theatre Pro Rata, Frank Theatre, and Walking Shadow Theatre Company. Thank you to everyone at GST for all you do.

Brenna Noble


Brenna Noble, an Oklahoma native, is excited to be making her Grandstreet debut this summer. She most recently performed along side Beth Leavel in the  “Muny at the Sheldon” concert series. She is a senior Musical Theatre major at the Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts, where she recently performed in The Pajama Game and HONK. Favorite credits include: The Sound of Music (Liesl), Hairspray (Amber), and Little Women (Amy). Love to Mom, Dad, and Ethan.

Tad Rose

Mr. Trotter/ensemble

Tad is a Senior at Carroll College studying business marketing and theatre. you probably saw him ion the Grandstreet stage either in Midsummer Nights dream where he played Lysander, or in Billy Elliot. He would like to thank his family for always believing him and letting him follow his dream.

Savannah Smith


Savannah is ecstatic to be a part of Grandstreet Theatre’s 2016 summer season! Her most recent backstage credits include assisting in Dear Edwina Jr. and running the light board for Pippin. Recent onstage credits include Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Virginia in Oklahoma! Savannah would like thank her friends and family for their support, and Roald Dahl for writing wondrous and whimsical worlds into existence for everyone to explore.

McLain Thornquist


McLain would like to thank Sarah Butts for this opportunity and her parents for supporting her to become the talented young actress she is today. McLain is going to be a freshman at Capital High School. Her latest role at Grandstreet Theatre was the Ghost of Christmas Past in the Christmas Carol. She looks forward to future opportunities at Grandstreet.

Colleen "Binky" Watson


Colleen is a  graduate of UM Missoula where she received her BFA in Acting/Directing. She has been a teacher in Grandstreet’s afterschool program for more that 20 years. Most recently Binky directed ESCAPE FROM EDEN at the Last Chance New Play Festival in Helena. Most recent Grandstreet Shows include THE ADDAMS FAMILY (Alice), and CABARET (Frauline Schneider). Favorite roles include Velma Kelly (CHICAGO), and The Witch (INTO THE WOODS). Favorite Shows include COWBOY and HARVEST, both tours with Montana Repertory Theatre. Thanks Kevin(husband, hers)!

Dalton Weaver


Dalton Weaver (ensemble) is 15 years old, loves musical theatre and is very grateful to find himself back on the Grandstreet Theatre stage.  Shipwrecked was his Grandstreet debut and he was enthralled with the talent presented.  Dalton was fortunate enough to gain experience in eight theater productions when he lived in Whitefish, MT.  He wishes to thank all of the directors and staff for their encouragement and knowledge.