Anoka High student is Captain Hook in Young Artists Initiative show

Riley Shoemaker of Ramsey, a junior at Anoka High School, will play Captain Hook in Young Artists Initiative production of “Peter Pan.”

Riley Shoemaker, a student at Anoka Middle School for the Arts, has been cast as Captain Hook in “Peter Pan,” the Young Artists Initiative kick-off production for its 10th anniversary. Photo submitted

Riley Shoemaker, a student at Anoka High School, has been cast as Captain Hook in “Peter Pan,” the Young Artists Initiative kick-off production for its 10th anniversary. Photo submitted

The show features an all-youth cast of 35 young artists drawing from the Twin Cities area.

Actors in this production will be lifted from the stage using flying techniques developed by a Las Vegas company, Flying By Floy. The developers are coming in from Las Vegas to work with the kids to help create the magic of flight for Peter, Wendy, Jon and Michael, said Benjamin Lacina, lighting designer and YAI co-founder and artistic director.

This is the 10th anniversary of YAI, a performing arts organization providing access to high-quality arts programming. The initiative develops young artists by fostering community, collaboration, self-confidence and fun.

Jefferson Fietek, theater teacher at AMSA, who directed many productions at YAI, is the other co-founder.

Based on the classic story by J.M. Barrie about a boy who “won’t grow up,” the show is directed by Clare Dickey.

Shoemaker might be recalled by some for his role as Jacques Clouseau, the bumbling inspector in Fred Moore Middle School’s (now AMSA) 2010 production of “The Pink Panther Strikes Again.”

“Peter Pan” opens March 15 and runs for eight performances through March 24. Tickets are adults, $8, seniors/students and children, $5. The March 16, 7:30 p.m. performance is pay-what-you-can. The Performance Space at Wellstone Center, 179 Robie St. E., St. Paul. Tickets may be purchased online at www.youngartistsmn.org or at the performance.

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