SDSU’s Take on a Classic Brings a Giant Peach to the Don Powell Theatre

April 16, 2019
Don Powell Theatre

On Friday, April 26, SDSU School of Theatre, Television and Film opens Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, a musical theatre production based on the classic children’s novel by Roald Dahl. Directed by Stephen Brotebeck, the production features words and music by the Tony and Academy Award-winning songwriting team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach runs April 26 - May 3 in SDSU’s Don Powell Theatre. Tickets are available at

Focused on themes of adventure, hope, friendship, fear, and family, audiences can expect to experience a world full of colorful and friendly insects, a journey across the sea, and a spectacularly giant peach.

A Show Full of Theatre Magic

James and the Giant Peach follows a series of unusual and magic events after a boy named James accidentally drops magic crocodile tongues by an old peach tree. The musical, a fantastical show full of puppetry, colorful costumes, and a spectacular set design, is a celebration of stage magic.

The production is the result of an impressive collaboration between students and faculty at SDSU. It features a cast of undergraduate students, and graduate students earning Master of Fine Arts degrees in Musical Theatre, and a design team comprised of an undergraduate student in sound design, and graduate students earning their Masters of Fine Arts in design technology: lighting, costume design, projection design, and scenic design.

“This production best exemplifies the sprit of collaboration within the School of Theatre, Television, and Film between the two MFA programs and the undergraduate students,” said Director and Associate Professor of Musical Theater Stephen Brotebeck. “It is one of my great joys as a professor to be able to work alongside such talented students.”

The production, which has been in rehearsals since the beginning of March, also features a 28-piece orchestra with students from the SDSU School of Music and Dance. Being such a large production, Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach has presented several challenges, all of which Brotebeck believes his students have risen to meet.

“For the actors, diving into the world of one of the most renowned children’s books and bringing these iconic characters to life has been both exciting and challenging. Especially with the insects, finding the way that they speak and move has been a ton of fun. As for the design team, I think the biggest challenge was to create the fantastical world that we see through the eyes of James, and through a massive amount of collaboration and imagination, this phenomenal team has created a world that will be a delight to all audiences,” said Brotebeck.

Emma Chassey, a senior majoring in Theatre Arts who will be playing the titular role of James, is looking forward to bringing Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach to SDSU. “We are bringing truth and meaningful life-lessons to this whimsical classic along with beautiful visuals and incredible songs,” said Chassey. “We have a talented cast, an incredible orchestra, colorful costumes, beautiful lighting and projections, hand-made puppets, and a truly giant peach.”

Where and When

James and the Giant Peach will run April 26 – May 3 at the SDSU Don Powell Theatre. Productions will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday – Saturday, with 2:00 p.m. matinee performances on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28.

Tickets are $20 for general admission, $17 for seniors, military, and students, and $10 for children 12 and under.

For tickets, directions, and parking information, visit For more information about the many other Arts Alive SDSU performances, concerts, and exhibitions, visit

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