Before Peter Pan the musical, before Mary Martin, before Disney there was the real Peter Pan, a boy who wouldn’t grow up. This story has been told by so many, so many times in so many ways and we’ve all grown up with it. There is no right way to tell the wonderful story, but we are going to tell the original story of Peter Pan, the way J.M. Barrie told it – the real story of Peter Pan.
There are a lot of versions of Peter Pan out there that are children’s stories. And it is easy to see why, pirates, natives, flying, strange kids living alone, but what I see is a story about that last chance a kid gets to be a kid. It is about that last year, summer, vacation, that last passing moment when imagination was more powerful than life. That time right before we all become eager to become older, to become grown up. Remember that last adventure you had in your back yard? That is this adventure. And the adventure appeals to all ages, but the nostalgia of that last big adventure will only appeal to those of us who miss it.
Peter Pan is full so many bold wonderful characters that are so iconic, thanks to Walt Disney, that they live in our minds and hearts and often out of context. But they are so enduring because they and their relationships with each other were so exquisitely written. The story is about a boy who deeply longs for a mother and will never grow up and a girl who is just on the verge of doing so, it represents an utterly confusing time in our lives and on the stage it produces great comedy, sympathy and nostalgia. And the script is full of these insightful and real characters, motivations and relationships. These characters aren’t just clichés, images or merchandise – they are fully realized and special and they might be something more than what you expect.
For my part I have worked hard to really find the truth and heart of the story by really fleshing out these characters, relationships and themes. It has led to a lot of heavy conversations with designers and cast. But this is definitely one of the most fun shows I’ve ever crafted. The energy is magnetic and the comedy is organic. You, your children, and your parents will want to get up out of your chairs and join in the fun. And though this is not the musical version of the show there is singing and dancing and everything that theatre can offer an audience. I love this show and I really cannot wait to share this real story of Peter Pan with Duluth.
Here’s a sneak peek of some costumes from the show!
Blog Written by Director Robert Lee