Sci-Fi Musical “Petra and the Jay” on Stage April 13, 14

High School senior Maura Taylor has the lead singing role in “Petra and the Jay.” Photo by TK Thompson/ladailypost.com

Where will Los Alamos audiences be able to spend time with a flying carrot, a dinocyborg, and a silicon-based geranium eater?

“Petra and the Jay,” a musical play with a science fiction setting, will be performed at 7 pm. Friday, April 13 and 2 p.m. Saturday, April 14 at the Crossroads Bible Church. The production is a benefit for Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s Earth Day events.

The setting is the year 3021 and the earth’s teeming human population is in turmoil due to wars over water and the proliferation of a deadly disease. Desperate for a solution, members of earth’s Population Council summon the galactic federation (UFFDA)–but not all earthlings are open to guidance from these outsiders, particularly the Guardians who believe passionately that earth should be governed and inhabited by humans only. Some members of the Guardians are even prepared to back up their position with acts of intimidation and violence.

At the center of these events is Petra, a human who has a romanticized love for animals and aliens.  However, her animal friends – a jay bird and a deer – think Petra devalues them by giving them human traits.  Her friend, Kayll, an aquatic ell, makes a similar accusation when Petra tries to persuade the twelve-year-old alien to venture outside her water-based comfort zone.

Can Petra be led to appreciate the unique non-human characteristics of her animal and alien friends? Can earth’s inhabitants (both human and alien) work together to find a solution for earth’s problems, or will the militant Guardians’ attempts at sabotage win the day?

These challenges–earth’s challenge and Petra’s challenge–comprise the plot of the musical written by Carolyn Neeper, composed by Alice B. Kellogg, and directed by Alicia Solomon. 

An added bonus for kids of all ages is a contest with lots of prizes, which will be awarded at the intermission of both performances. Go to the PEEC Web site (PajaritoEEC.org) to find the art, photography, essay, and even tweet contests for all ages. Entries are due by April 8.

Included in the cast are Maura Taylor as Petra and Rose Click as her alien friend, Kayll. Larry Gibbons plays a lovable, peace-making flying carrot, Irene Zaugg, a dinocyborg, and Wade Wheelock a pompous silicon-based geranium eater. Aquatic ells are played by Kate Ramsey and Martin Kellogg. Petra’s adoptive parents, Alice and Darrok, are enacted by Sheila Schiferl and Dale Arnink. Julie McKenzie is the mean-spirited guardian, Barb. Matt, a moderate member of the Guardians, is played by Connor Schultz. Petra’s university friend Stewartis Todd Nickols. Marion Mitchell and Tess Light are human consultants for the population study group. Joy Drake, Bonnie Kellogg, Cathy King, and Larry Schultz play the roles of distrustful guardians. 

The colorful, elaborate props and costumes were designed by Joy Drake and Sue Tonelli with help from Donna O’Donnell. 

Tickets for both performances are available on line at PajaritoEEC.org and cost $15 for general admission or $10 for students or seniors. Children six and under are free. Tickets also are available at CB FOX or at the door.

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