Tuesday, May 20, 2008

TBTA's Peter Pan: Helping Lost Children Find A Home

Thank goodness for the many theatreincrediblogs” in existence to keep you up to speed on Broadway’s awards season. Without doubt, it’s been an exciting year on the Great White Way and my esteemed friends are covering the news with great panache. I will leave all the handicapping and dishing to them, as the amount of time I can currently devote to my writing is minimal. My fellow theatre bloggers will be much more thorough, so you are left in capable hands if that is the purpose of your visit.

You ask, then, why no time to write? Well, a few weeks ago I watched over 70 actors sing and dance their way through auditions for the musical Peter Pan. The production, which I am directing, is part of The Brookfield Theatre for the Arts’ 2008 Season. Guiding the cast of 37 through rehearsals that include flight, swordfights, Heelys, major choreography, four different sets and numerous costume changes will definitely be a Herculean effort.

Despite the monumental task of mounting this musical, I eagerly accept the challenge for I believe that our production has had a bit of fairy dust blown in our direction…

Everyone knows the story of Peter Pan. It is the story of the boy who would never grow up, who lives on a magical island where time stands still. Interestingly, in the first few weeks of rehearsal, it has become very evident the myriad ways we recall being told of Peter and his Neverland adventures. Most think of the
Disney animated feature or the televised versions featuring Mary Martin or Sandy Duncan in the eponymous role. For others, it might be the recent Cathy Rigby revival on Broadway or the numerous cinematic adaptations of the Peter Pan story.

Certainly, as you grow older, the story takes on a completely different meaning than it did when it was all about flying, Pirates & Indians and defeating the bad guy. I think that is the sign of a great story – when it is both timeless and universal. For me, it is a story about our search in life to find people to love us and to look after us. Whether searching for a parent, as in the case of Peter and the Lost Boys, or growing beyond the years of requiring parents and starting to seek a different kind of companionship, as with Wendy, this story is about developing relationships and trusting and relying on one another.

And here’s the bit of fairy dust…

Last year, the former President and Artistic Director of TBTA adopted a son through the
Department of Children and Families. The Department has now partnered with TBTA to utilize our gallery space for their Heart Gallery, a photo art exhibit featuring children in need of a permanent family connection through adoption. In my life, I’ve had the great fortune of seeing several friends who have created families through adoption. I truly feel the connection between my personal experience and this production is not accidental and I am honored the Heart Gallery will be displayed during the entire run of Peter Pan.

I leave you with this. Anyone who has ever done theatre identifies with the notion that those involved in the production become, for a time, your family. Being a musical that has so much focus on parents and children, I suspect that our production of Peter Pan will be no different, especially given the exhibit that will be hanging in our gallery. Without doubt, those sitting in the audience in July will be seeing a very special production of this classic musical. Because, you see, in our cast there are sixteen performers from six different families, including two sets of twins! If you also consider the cast members that have family helping behind the scenes, Peter Pan’s cast and crew will be a family in the truest sense of the word. And for this particular production, I think that speaks volumes.

Please, come see it… and be a part of the magic.
TBTA presents Peter Pan
Performance Dates:
July 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19, 2008 at 8:00pm
July 13, 2008 at 2:00pm
Ticket Price (All Performances): $20.00
Reservations: 203-775-0023

Department of Children and Families: The Heart Gallery


Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Alicia, All I can say is "Thank goodness for you!"

martha said...

I's nice!