(Pictures courtesy of Wendy Ellis; full gallery available here)

On Thursday, April 20, the cast and crew of Peter Pan played host to the first of three sold out performances in Legacy Performing Arts Center (LPAC). A reproduction of the 1954 Tony Award-winning Broadway version, Legacy's cast featured students from grades three through twelve, multiple flying scenes, and a live orchestra. Anna Jacobi, a Legacy student since pre-school who played Mrs. Darling, exclaimed, “I've waited for 14 years to get an actual performing arts facility, and I dreamed of the day we would get to do musicals on a real stage, but never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined such a stunning show. Opening the new Performing Arts Center and getting to perform in a show as magical as Peter Pan was the perfect way to end my last year at Legacy!”

Last spring while the foundation for the new auditorium was being poured, Amanda Solomon, Legacy Theater Director, was busy laying a foundation of her own for Peter Pan. “I spent the summer dreaming of Pirates and Indians, gathering as much information about the show as possible without knowing what students would even audition,” Solomon shared. “Fast forward to January and I was completely blown away with the level of talent the kids possessed. What a dream come true for a director!” Chris Keyes, Legacy's Fine Arts Director who started in June, added, “When I first arrived on campus, I first toured a mass of steel beams and concrete in a hard hat. To then direct the orchestra on opening night was an unforgettable experience.”

In February, Legacy officially dedicated its state-of-the-art facility, which seats nearly 600 guests and includes the high school band and choir suites, private rehearsal studios, a black box theater, and set design and production spaces. After weeks of practicing in the south campus cafetorium, the cast and crew transitioned to their new stage. Solomon reflected on that moment: “When the doors opened to the new performing arts center and we footed the stage, the gratitude felt in my heart was overwhelming. Seeing the student's eyes light up as they took the stage for the first time nearly brought me to tears.”

Prior to the first public performance, Legacy hosted residents from Cornerstone Ranch for the final rehearsal. “One of goals at Legacy is to create meaningful service opportunities for our students that foster long-term relationships,” explained David Heaton, Legacy Service Organization (LSO) sponsor. Through the LSO, students have developed multi-year relationships with the residents at Cornerstone, a full time residential housing and day program for adults with special needs. Doug Schulte, Cornerstone Staff Member, said of the experience, “The hospitality at Legacy has always been a blessing, but this new building, the quality of the musical, and the kindness of the LSO students was on a whole other level. The cast came out afterwards to greet us and were so gracious to pose for pictures.”

The inaugural performance was a welcomed change in venue for the Legacy community. Previous shows like Annie and Suessical were held in the south campus cafetorium, and, while the productions were high quality, stage, lighting, and dressing areas were always limited in size and function as the multi-purpose facility had to continue to serve as lunchroom and chapel venue. Furthermore, audiences were limited to 300 due to space. Tom Stockton, Complete the Legacy Chairman, said of the transition, “As a long-time Legacy dad, it has been my privilege to see many performances by talented Legacy students over the years. It was a special treat to witness the most recent performance of Peter Pan in a venue worthy of our students' dedication, commitment, and talent.”

Tammy Meinershagen, Executive Director of Frisco Association for the Arts, attended the opening night's performance and shared, “On behalf of Frisco Arts, the City's Official Arts Agency, I wanted to share how impressed I was with the recent production of Peter Pan at LCA. This is not your average school musical! The music, lighting, audio, set design, and stage stunts were absolutely top-notch, as well as the talent of the students. The level of dancing and singing was absolutely superb, better than many productions I have seen of this age group. We are fortunate to have such strong dedication to the performing arts at LCA, training the next generation of creative professionals and patrons of the arts. Frisco Arts looks forward to partnering with LCA to cultivate an appreciation of the arts in Frisco through quality programming in this beautiful new facility!”

Founding Fine Arts Director, Sandra Clark, who retired this past year after teaching at Legacy since the school opened in 1999, could not hardly wait for opening night! Mrs. Clark reflected Jacobi's sentiments. “Seeing the inaugural performance of Peter Pan in the LPAC was a dream come true! For those students who performed throughout Legacy's early years and built the fine arts department, this is a tribute to you and a blessing for all those students in the future who love and are devoted to the arts.”

Legacy Christian Academy offers students a college preparatory education; central to that education is fine arts. 100% of students in Pre-K through grade 10 participate in a fine arts course, and many upperclassmen continue with their fine art study. For the latest information on Legacy fine arts, subscribe today. For more information on Legacy, visit our admissions page.