By Lucas Menvielle and Jaily Gomez

Miami, FL, Tuesday, April 3, 2018 – The Mater Lakes Academy Thespian Society will be presenting their final show of the school year, Peter Pan, this April, from the 26th through the 28th in the Lehman Theater at Miami-Dade College. This will be their fourth performance in partnership with MDC since Annie in May 2017.

This timeless tale will feature beautiful music and, hilarious comedy. For the first time in the MLA Thespian’s history, the actors will be raised on wires, flying above the stage.

The show will be directed by MLA art teacher, Ms.  Xierra Itayem, who has previously directed the plays Scenes from a Dance and I Hate Shakespeare which were performed at Mater Lakes. However, she believes this will be unlike any show the Thespian Society has put on before.

“I think with every show we do we try to top ourselves, and I think that’s important especially with the MDC partnership,” Itayem said. “They have given us so many resources to keep growing, so we have to make sure that with every show we’re pushing ourselves and challenging ourselves to do more and do better.”

Itayem also stated “I think our actors bring a special, unique kind of humor to these shows and I think Peter Pan is perfect for how they act together.,” We talked to her actors to see their perspective.

Sophomore Jaily Gomez, who will be playing the titular role of Peter Pan, and who has been a Thespian since late 2016, has expressed her excitement to perform do aerial acrobatics. She also mentioned her increased preparation for this role, including her experience with gymnastics and ballet.

Her statements paralleled Itayem’s, specifically regarding the worth of the cast, crew and direction. “Rehearsals have been running on the set schedule and it seems like Ms. Itayem has everything in order,” Gomez said. “I think all the cast is very talented. We’re on schedule to do great things and we have a lot of time to work on this show so we can really perfect anything that goes wrong in the early stages.”

Playing Wendy in the show is sophomore Veronica Ginzo, who has had a very recent streak of success after her leading role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz., Humbly, she said she was surprised to see her name beside her role on the cast list.

“It was very unexpected because I did not expect the position of Wendy at all. I went in expecting to be an extra and not a lead, so I was very excited,” Ginzo said.

Lastly, for senior Robert Merkel, this show will mark his swansong for the Drama Club with a role of the play’s main antagonist Captain Hook. This comes after four years of impressive performances from Merkel. “I really want to knock it out of the park,” Merkel said. “I really want to make sure everyone wants to enjoy it and go out with a bang.”

Merkel also reminisced on some of his past experiences with the drama club. “I really love all the friends that I’ve been able to make and all the experiences I’ve been able to have with those friends,” Merkel said. It’s a sentiment all of the leads seemed to share. “We’re all very friendly with each other and we’re very close and we defend each other no matter what,” Gomez remarked.

Working on the play about the boy who never grew up makes everyone wonder, what is the hardest thing about growing up? For senior Robert Merkel, it’s a question he’s had to face head on as he prepares to graduate high school.

“In general it’s hard to accept that you have to have all these new responsibilities in life, and I’ve really been having a rough time accepting that, but you have to persevere,” Merkel said.

The Thespian Society has gained a reputation of never disappointing and it seems as if they’re on track to blow our minds yet again. Peter Pan will be playing in the Lehman Theater at Miami-Dade North Campus from April 26th to April 28th. Tickets are $10 at the door, come support Mater Lakes Academy and the Thespian Society and take a trip to Neverland with Peter Pan.

Mater Lakes Academy is a Miami-Dade County Public Charter School, with students enrolled in 6th – 12th grade.  Mater Lakes Academy has been open since the 2006-2007 academic school year, and is currently in its 12th year under the direction of Principal Rene F. Rovirosa, and is an A school for both the middle school and the high school.  For more information, visit the school’s website at

Mrs. Alice Martinez
Mater Lakes Academy
Phone:  (305) 698-8000
Fax:  (305) 698-1800