Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The boy who never grew up visits the Page

By Raquel Romo 
Cardinal Staff

The tale of “Peter Pan,” adapted by Trevor Nunn, John Caird and David Schechter, was performed by Theatreworks USA Theatre Company at the Saint Mary’s University Page Theatre on Thursday, Nov. 14.

With a versatile set that resembled a child’s bedroom fort, and actors resembling small children playing, the audience of local middle school students and their families enjoyed the tale of the boy who wouldn’t grow up. 

“It’s a classic tale, there are classic interpretations out there and you can see it in lots of different formats. To take the original play and adapt it to more modern sensibility, like Trevor Nunn [and John Caird and David Schechter] has done, it’s a challenge, and they kept it to the core of the story, which is important,” said General Manager of the Page Theatre, Patrick Grace.

Throughout the show, the audience’s imagination was really put to use. Traditionally, Peter Pan is flown in and around the stage. In this performance, Peter Pan was partly played by a puppet, and the alligator’s costume was what seemed to be a bed sheet and tennis rackets. The production “encourages children to let their imaginations take flight and to create their own adventures using household objects as props and puppets as characters,” according to the company’s website.

Theatreworks USA, founded in 1961, is dedicated to providing access to professional theatre for young audiences nationwide. “Within 50 years, over a million people have seen them and they have a great track record in family programming and lots of companies and lot of opportunities out there,” Grace said, “with family shows, we found that working with schools and school matinees they seem very interested in working with bringing school groups to shows that are translations and adaptations of literature.”

In order to bring in performances similar to “Peter Pan,” Grace takes into account what patrons suggest through surveys. “We always ask our patrons about performances or genres that they are interested in. This helps us begin the conversation with our fellow presenters in the region as well as conversations with schools and some of our partners about what we want to bring in and what we can bring in,” said Grace. 

It is through the suggestions of patrons that audiences enjoy the performances from the Page Series and why audience members of all ages were satisfied with “Peter Pan.”

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