Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach” coming to Steamboat Springs |

Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach” coming to Steamboat Springs

Maria Ciobanu stars as "James," in the Phamaly Theatre Company's production of "James and the Giant Peach," which will take place on Saturday, May 20 at the Strings Music Pavilion.

— For a moment, imagine a world in which giant peaches and talking insects exist.

As Roald Dahl's "James and the Giant Peach" story is read aloud, the imagination soars as James escapes from his cruel aunts to embark on an adventure larger than life.

Now imagine the visual experience of this story told on stage.

Creating a connection of literature and visual arts, the Strings Music Festival has teamed up with the Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs to offer a new kind of storytelling experience.

Starting Monday, May 15 through Thursday, May 18, the library will host "James and the Giant Peach" read-alouds from 4 to 5 p.m. each day. The handpicked local talent including teachers, drama students and actors, will read the book out loud in four parts over four days. Off the Beaten Path will be selling books at the library readings.

Then on Saturday, May 20, a theatrical performance by Phamaly Theatre Company of Denver will recreate the story at 2 p.m. in the Strings Music Pavilion.

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Cast entirely with performers with disabilities, Phamaly Theatre Company produces professional-scale plays and musicals year-round across the Denver Metro area.

"’James and the Giant Peach’ is a beloved book that is all about realizing how to move on after losing something or someone important to you and being able to look past individual differences and work with a variety of different beings to move forward," said Regan Linton, the theater company’s artistic director. "It’s a story that allows our unique actors of Phamaly to bring it to life in a new way."

Offering students with disabilities an equal opportunity to perform in plays and musicals, the performers rehearse for six weeks and occasionally in between shows.

The combined storytelling event gives families a way to engage with a story on different levels and also to have a shared experience, no matter what age.

"The goal with our family programming this year is that we wanted to make the parents just as excited and engaged as the kids," said Katie Carroll, director of artistic administration and education at Strings Music Festival. "We wanted to choose something parents may have a fond recollection of and revisit a book they loved to have a true family experience. We want them to feel connected together."

Some of the nostalgic themes in the story can be applied to the realities kids and adults face today. Especially, said Linton, the themes from James' interactions with the insects.

"The insects all have their vulnerabilities and insecurities," Linton said. "Earthworm is anxious; centipede is angry and judgmental; spider is heartbroken, etc. But in meeting James and having to problem solve together, they become friends, share with each other and get past their judgments. It’s a good reminder of the connections you can make with people if you act from a place of love and understanding."

Tickets for “James and the Giant Peach” are $5 for kids and $15 for adults and can be purchased online at

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

If you go:

What: James and the Giant Peach Read Aloud

When: 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, May 15 to Thursday, May 18

Where: Storytime Room, Bud Werner Memorial Library, 1289 Lincoln Ave.

If you go:

What: Phamaly Theatre Company presents “James and the Giant Peach”

When: 2 p.m. Saturday, May 20

Where: Strings Music Pavilion, 900 Strings Road