Peter Pan and Wendy Flies into Imagination Stage
Bethesda becomes Neverland this summer, as Imagination Stage presents Peter Pan and Wendy, a swashbuckling adventure with audience participation. Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer, it is a story in which two young heroes must decide if growing up is really all that bad.
Peter Pan and Wendy is written by Alyn Cardarelli and Steve Goers, creators of the popular musical How I Became a Pirate. In this version of the classic tale of the boy who refuses to grow up, the character of Wendy takes on a more prominent role, as she, too, is having trouble coming to terms with pending adulthood and accepting life's responsibilities. Wendy wants to play, and Peter Pan is delighted to whisk her away to the magical island of Neverland where children stay children forever. With the help of Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys, Tiger Lily, and mermaids, Peter and Wendy battle the dreaded, but rather funny, Captain Hook.
The story of Peter Pan and the character himself are synonymous with flying. "We are using video to create the flying sequences. But, rather than filming the actors, we are creating abstract video that will be projected in all sorts of places around the stage, with the actors moving against it, in order to give the illusion of flying," says Bryer, Associate Artistic Director of Imagination Stage, describing the challenge of flying within the constraints of theatre.
Jonathan Atkinson and Justine Moral will play the title roles of Peter Pan and Wendy, respectively. Jonathan was last seen at Imagination Stage as the Prince in Rapunzel and has been seen in The Kennedy Center's national tours of The Phantom Tollbooth and Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka. Justine was last seen at Imagination Stage as Lucy in The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, which received five Helen Hayes nominations, and she has performed in national tours of South Pacific and Les Miserables.
James Konicek will play Captain Hook and Mr. Darling. James is new to Imagination Stage and is a well-known voice artist in the area, recently recording a series of national radio ads for GEICO. James has performed in many local productions, most recently in Our Town (Ford's Theatre) and A Trip to the Moon (Synetic Theater). Captain Hook's ever-faithful sidekick, Smee, will be played by Michael John Casey, who has performed in several shows at Imagination Stage, including the Helen Hayes-nominated The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe and Rapunzel. Angela Miller, a graduate of American University, will play the roles of Tiger Lily and Mrs. Darling.
Matt Dewberry and Dan Van Why round out the cast as the Lost Boys. Matt previously performed at Imagination Stage in Mulan and has also been seen in productions at Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and Adventure Theatre MTC, among others. Dan, a theatre arts graduate of Wilkes University, has performed locally at Olney Theatre Center and The Keegan Theatre.
The creative team for Peter Pan and Wendy includes Music Director George Fulginiti-Shakar, Set Designer Klyph Stanford, Lighting Designer Jason Arnold, Costume Designer Katie Touart, Choreographer Krissie Marty, and Sound Designer Christopher Baine.
Peter Pan and Wendy runs in Imagination Stage's Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Theatre June 26 through August 11. Best for ages 4-10, tickets start at $12, and may be purchased online at www.imaginationstage.org, at the Imagination Stage box office, or via phone at 301-280-1660. Group rates are available.