Peter Pan

Artwork showing writer imagining fanciful Pan character flying out window with Tinker Bell

By Sir James M. Barrie
Adapted by Laura Ferdinand Feldmeyer

April 30-May 3, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
May 3-4, 2014, 2:00 p.m.
SecondStage, Studio 88

Tickets: $7 Students, $8 Seniors, $10 Adults

  • $5 a ticket curricular discount is available to students who receive credit for attending. Professors who give credit for attendance will receive 2 free tickets to the performance. To participate, contact the Miami Box Office by e-mail, boxoffice@miamioh.edu or by calling 513-529-3200.
  • Group discounts are available to resident advisors, student organizations, and high-school group

Cast & Crew

Barrie/Hook/Twin/Peter: Jeremiah Plessinger
Peter: Adam Joesten
Jane/Tootles: Lauren Kammerling
Curly/John/Nana: JP Horton
Nibs/Starkey: Kaela Smith
Second Twin/Smee: Richard Dent
Michael/Tiger Lily: Kate Hendrickson
Mrs.Darling/Tink/Mermaid: Tamara Ljbibratic
Wendy: Theresa Liebhart
Slightly/Hook: Meryl Juergens

Director: Laura Ferdinand Feldmeyer
Advisor: Dr. Ann Elizabeth Armstrong
Scenic Designer:  Christina Casano
Scenic Designer Advisor: Gion DeFrancesco
Costume Designer: Eric Riddle
Costume Designer Advisor:  Meggan Peters
Lighting Designer: Erin Mizer
Lighting Designer Advisor: Josh Wilson
Sound Designer:  Josh Wilson
Technical Director:  Josh Wilson
Choreographer: Tess Stanifer
Stage Manager:  Cara Hinh

Synopsis

            Long before Peter Pan ever appeared on stage or screen, it was a game played by playwright James Barrie and five young brothers among the stately promenades and climbing trees of London’s Kensington Gardens.  In this adaptation, Barrie rejoins the game, and travels through his memory and imagination to revisit the moments of his life that influenced the creation of Peter Pan’s most iconic characters, moments, and places.

            As Barrie slips between the timeless world of Never Land, 1870s Scotland, and war-torn early twentieth century London, he reveals how his relationship to his most famous and long-lived work changed throughout his life. 

            As Wendy flies to Never Land, Hook captures the Lost Boys, Tinker Bell drinks the poison, and Peter decides whether to grow up or stay a boy forever, the character of Barrie must choose whether or not to finish writing Peter Pan in this creative re-imagining of the original 1904 play.  Pulling from his personal notebooks, published works, speeches, and letters, Barrie speaks in his own words – painting a personal portrait of one of the world’s most beloved writers.

Central Themes of the Play

  • Coming of age and constructs of masculinity
  • World War I
  • The conflation of memory and imagination
  • Constructive/destructive use of play to process grief
  • How memories are enacted and embodied

About the Playwright

            Best known today for his play and novel Peter Pan, Sir James M. Barrie (1860 – 1937) was a prolific Scottish playwright, novelist, and journalist.  By the turn of the century, Barrie became immensely popular publishing works such as The Little Minister, Sentimental Tommy, and Margaret Ogilvy (a biography of his mother.)  Although a private man, Barrie befriended many important figures while living in London including writers Robert Louis Stevenson, H.G. Wells, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Antarctica explorer Captain Robert F. Scott (whose son, Peter, is Barrie’s godson, and is named after Peter Pan.)  He even told stories to two little girls – the future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister Princess Margaret.

            It was in 1897, however, walking in Kensington Gardens, that Barrie met the friends who would, arguably, have the biggest impact on his literary career – five-year-old George, four-year-old Jack, and baby Peter, sons of Arthur and Sylvia Llewelyn Davies.  Playing together in the gardens of London with his dog, Barrie and his young friends (who over the years added two more brothers – Michael and Nico) imagined and brought to life Peter Pan and the entire world of Never Land.  It was George who first spoke one of the play’s most famous lines: “To die would be an awfully big adventure.”  In his dedication to the play, Barrie writes “...I suppose I always knew that I made Peter by rubbing the five of you violently together, as savages with two sticks produce a flame.  That is all he is, the spark I got from you.”

            In 1903, Barrie wrote a play about these adventures and approached his friend Charles Frohman, who had produced many of his plays, saying of the play “I am sure it will not be a commercial success.  But it is a dream-child of mine, and I am so anxious to see it on stage that I have written another play which I will be glad to give you and which will compensate you for any loss on the one I am so eager to see produced.”  Frohman took a chance on this play, which was very different from the types of plays usually produced at the time, and in 1904, Peter Pan; Or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up opened in London and has been produced around the world nearly every year since. 

            In 1929, Sir James M. Barrie bequeathed the rights of Peter Pan to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, which continue to benefit the institution to this day.

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