‘Petra and the Jay’ takes the stage

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Musical: Sci-fi production features some familiar faces

A flying carrot, a dinocyborg and a silicon-based gernanium eater are just a few characters Los Alamos audiences will be able to spend time with.
“Petra and the Jay,” a musical play with a science fiction setting, will be performed at 7 p.m. April 13 and 2 p.m. April 14 at 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. 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 elll, makes a similar accusation when Petra tries to persuade the 12-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 PajaritoEEC.org to find the art, photography, essay and 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 plays a dinocyborg; and Wade Wheelock plays 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, while Juli McKenzie is the mean-spirited guardian, Barb.  
Matt, a moderate member of the Guardians, is played by Connor Schultz and Petra’s university friend Stewart is Todd Nickols. Marion Mitchell and Tess Light are human consultants for the population study group, while Joy Drake, Bonnie Kellogg, Cathy King and Larry Schultz play the roles of distrustful guardians.  
Joy Drake and Sue Tonelli, with help from Donna O’Donnell, designed the props and costumes.
Tickets for both performances are available at PajaritoEEC.org and cost  $15 for general admission or $10 for students or seniors. There is no charge for children six and younger. Tickets are also available at CB Fox or at the door.