“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” – J.M. Barrie
This weekend, STARZ Theater Company will take on the tale of the free-spirited, mischievous boy who can never grow up as they present “Peter Pan Jr.,” Jan. 25-27 at the ENT Center for the Arts. The high-flying adventure is sure to delight audiences as this division of Turning Pointe celebrates its sixth season with a performance that deviates from the company’s prior two productions.
“We try to switch back and forth between historical and imaginative shows, year to year,” STARZ director Carmen Swank said. “With ‘Annie’ and ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ we had performed two back-to-back shows that were set in realistic historical settings. It was time for us to look at an imaginative work.”
But while imagination brings about a magical experience for audiences, it also brings about a new set of challenges.
“I'll be honest, the imaginative works are the hardest because they include ‘magical’ elements that audiences expect to experience,” Swank continued. “Creating that ‘magic’ in front of a live audience, on our budget, can be intimidating. As we talked and strategized, we determined Peter Pan would be a fun show, that our audiences would love. We couldn't remember the last time a youth theater company had produced it. We also believed we could find a way to create the ‘magic’ of flight that audiences have come to expect. Thanks to ZFX Rigging, our audiences can definitely expect to see Peter Pan and the Darling children take flight during our production. It will be exciting!”
While the magical aspects of this story will be familiar to some, STC’s adaptation won’t look like the Disney classic you grew up watching, nodding instead to the original Broadway rendition. Many of STC’s students and leaders even took the time to read Scottish novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie’s vision for the story and each character in preparation for the performance.
“He [Barrie] was purposeful in creating a timeless story that addressed social issues of that day and incredibly continue to do that today,” Swank said. “The Broadway version does a wonderful job of staying true to Barrie's original story, which was written in 1904 as a play and in 1911 as a novel.”
Contrary to the traditional adaptation, Barrie’s story had some purposeful additions, many of which have been adopted into the costuming for STC’s performance. Their original choreography also adds a new twist to the show’s many classic songs, including a number mirroring the style of stage sensation “STOMP” set to the soundtrack of “Ugh-A-Wug.”
“This is a soaring adventure perfect for the entire family,” Swank said. “This show is family and budget friendly, and a wonderful way to support fellow Turning Pointe students and the arts in our community. We hope families and individuals alike will honor us with their presence.”
Experience the magic for yourself Friday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., or Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. at the ENT Center for the Arts. Tickets are available at STARZTheater.org!
“So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!” – J.M. Barrie