Seattle Children’s Theatre invites Seattle theatergoers to fly away to where dreams are born with their musical production of Peter Pan. The musical is adapted by Jerome Robbins from the original play by James M. Barrie, with music by Mark Charlap and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh. Additional music written by Jule Styne, additional lyrics by Betty Camden and Adolph Green, incidental music by Trude Rittman and Elmer Bernstein, and orchestration by Albert Sendrey.
Generations of children and parents are familiar with the story. Peter Pan, the boy who wion’t grow up, visits the Darling children in their nursery and whisks them off to Neverland, where they befriend the Lost Boys and join the battle against the nefarious Captain Hook. The SCT production promises to be a stage spectacular with four characters aloft at once with Flying by Foy, an incredible tick-tocking, Captain-eating crocodile, and a Bollywood-style dance number.
When I was a child, I opened the window, waiting for Peter and Tinkerbell to come visit. I clapped my hands to save Tink, and I still believe that if I clap hard enough, Tinkerbell will be okay. I think it is important for us to give our children these fanciful, delightful stories, and characters, to believe in. The music in this show is so wonderful and fun, that boys and girls alike will delight in the imaginative adventure." - SCT Artistic Director Linda Hartzell
While Mr. and Mrs. Darling are out for the evening, and Nana the dog is chained up outside, Wendy and her brothers, John and Michael, settle in for the night, dreaming of grand adventures. Then, with a flash and a zoom, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, the fairy, fly right in the nursery window. Peter, who has come to this window before to listen to all the fantastic stories Wendy tells, has lost his shadow and is back to find it. All that ruckus wakes the children, who are delighted to meet such a unique boy. But, where does he come from, and how did he get in here? Why he flew, from Neverland, where all lost boys end up, of course. If the children believe and think lovely thoughts, they can fly to Neverland, too! There, all the Lost Boys will love Wendy, who can tell stories, mend their pockets, and be like a mother to them all. Well, this is a grand adventure!
Back in Neverland, the Lost Boys eagerly await Peter’s return. It’s hard for them to have their fun and avoid the villainous Captain Hook and his mean band of pirates without Peter to lead them. Those pirates won’t stop looking for Peter and the Boys. Oh, how wonderful those Lost Boys think it is when they meet Wendy. Finally, a mother to take care of them. When the pirates hear of this, their new plan is set—capture all the boys and keep Wendy for their mother. But their fiendish plot fails when Tinkerbell risks her life to save Peter’s. The pirates then turn to the next best plan; lure Peter Pan out of hiding by capturing Tiger Lily. They are right! Peter can’t let anything happen to the lovely princess. They underestimate Peter’s wit and wile, however, and he manages to escape their clutches, rescuing Tiger Lily.
Amid all these escapades, Wendy begins to feel a little neglected by her dear Peter. But, Peter won’t ever grow up, no never, not him. The rest of the Lost Boys would like to return to London and belong to a family. As Wendy starts the journey back home with the Boys, the pirates launch another attack, kidnapping all the children. Peter, with the help of one tick-tocking crocodile, saves the day once again, managing to turn the pirates against their Captain, freeing all the children.
Wendy, John, and Michael return to London, Peter Pan continues to visit Wendy once a year, bringing her back to Neverland to keep things in order. One day, when Peter visits, Wendy can’t make the trip with him. She has grown up and had a child of her own. Now it is little Jane’s turn to journey to the place where dreams are born with the wonderful Peter Pan.
Bringing a story of this scope to the stage demands a large cast, and presents some specific challenges that lead to a rare occurrence at SCT – student actors appearing on stage beside SCT’s usual professional adult actors.“We are constantly reinforcing the message that we are a professional Equity theatre with adult actors,” says Hartzell, “but there are certain age-appropriate roles where it makes more sense to use students.”To fill these roles and account for the demanding rehearsal and performance schedule, SCT has cast a total of six student actors, all graduates of SCT’s Drama School, in this production; Walker Caplan, Ellis Cox-McAllister, Shaye Hodgins and Sophia Konat will share the role of Jane, while Dean Chrisafis and Eric McIntosh will split time as Michael.
The professional cast includes many returning SCT favorites, and is highlighted by Eric Ankrim (SCT debut) as Peter, Emily Chisholm (I Was a Rat!, Bluenose) as Wendy, and David Pichette (Pharaoh Serket and the Lost Stone of Fire) as Captain Hook. The remaining cast and ensemble includes Geoffrey Alm, Eric Brotherson, Peter Crook, Jadd Davis, Bojohn Diciple, Khanh Doan, Christian Duhamel, Hugh Hastings, Auston James, Tiffany Jewell, Brian Lange, Maggie Stenson, Dane Stockinger, and Luke Vroman. Bo De Dea, Todd Licea and April Wolfe are understudies.
SCT has also assembled an impressive Artistic and Production staff to support this play, including Choreographer Marianne Roberts, Music Director Mark Rabe, Set Designer Carey Wong, Costume Designer Catherine Hunt, Lighting Designer Tim Wratten, SCT Resident Sound Designer Chris R. Walker, Fight Choreographer Geoffrey Alm and Animal Costume Designer Scott R. Gray.