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PG Players Present Peter Pan


Once upon a time there was a boy named Peter Pan. No wait, it was a girl.

Well, maybe it was a boy.

Disney has always portrayed Peter Pan as a thriving, young boy who never ages. The first play performance of Peter Pan, written by J.M. Barrie, premiered in 1904. Starring the main protagonist Peter, The Lost Boys, Wendy, Captain Hook, Tinker Bell and their wonderful, adventurous lives on an island named Never Land. However, unlike the Disney version, in this performance an adult woman was cast as Peter.

The high school’s performance of Peter Pan also visualizes Peter as a woman, played by senior Danielle Marshall.

“In the original play, Peter was often played by a woman,” director Daryl Phillips said. “This was because they [women] are lighter, and easier to fly around. Also, I thought about Danielle when I was choosing Peter Pan, because I was searching for a principal role for her to have. Let’s make this clear, Disney is not the original, this is. We are doing the play by J.M. Barrie.”

When asking actors about the differences between the two versions, their reactions were similar.

“I like the changes, but I’m not sure how the audience is going to take to it,” Marshall said. “The only thing that’s truly different is Tinker Bell. In this play she is a ball of light, not an actual person like the Disney version of the play. Other than that, everything else is normal. It’s the same plot.”

Behind The Scenes With The Costume Designer Of Peter Pan from PGTV NEWS on Vimeo.

The most obvious difference from the Disney version and the main stage production is the fact that Peter is a woman. However, playing the opposite gender is not a new idea. In ancient Greece, women were not allowed to act in the theatre. It was very common for men to adorn masks and play the roles of women.

“They’re not really changes to the plot; we’re going by the original,” senior Jon Stawarz said, who plays Mr. Darling and Captain Hook. “Plus, playing the opposite gender isn’t anything new. Doing the play this way just makes it seem more authentic.”

In the cast of Disney’s Peter Pan there were only around 20 to 25 members. In the school’s play, the cast is 30 to 40 members.

“The cast is enormous, but it has its pros and cons.” Marshall said. The bigger the cast is, the more you have to share. You share the space and the items you have. It’s more of a give and take atmosphere. When there is a small cast you will have more one on one time with your director. Usually we come together at the end of all the practices to practice together.”

Phillips is not worried about the large size of the cast having a negative effect on the production.

“The cast is huge this year, but it’s only this big because it is what our script calls for.” Phillips said. ”We practice every weekday from 2:30 to 5:00, and sometimes 5:30 if needed. Rehearsal is divided up into acts, because of the rehearsals being divided into acts and the cast being so large, the number of actors or actresses will always vary. They usually have routine warm-ups but it can vary depending on their vocal needs.”

The cast of Peter Pan has been hard at work preparing this performance. They will be performing on December 5–7 at 7:30 p.m.

Some wonder if the audience will enjoy the style that is new to them but not to the cast. Being so used to a certain persona or stereotype of Peter Pan, some people may not be willing to accept change. Some think they will be displeased with the fact that Peter Pan is being played by a woman instead of a man.

“We picked the person who was best for the role, whether it was a boy or girl it didn’t matter,” senior Adam Blakemore said, who is the costume manager. “I think the audience will enjoy the play even if Peter Pan is a girl in this version. Its all about the acting.”

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