Carrington O’Brion ’15 has wanted to direct “Peter Pan” ever since she first saw the show when she was five years old. Now, as director of Upstage’s fall production of “Peter Pan,” she has the chance to bring that goal to fruition. Upstage is Wellesley College’s student theater organization and prides itself on the fact that all its productions are student directed, acted and designed, and its material spans everything from world classics to contemporary drama.
O’Brion referred to Upstage’s upcoming production of J.M. Barrie’s 1904 play, “Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up” as “not a Peter Pan you have seen before.” She described how Upstage uses a “playful, minimalist” approach, in order to keep the focus on the play’s youthful tone.
Despite O’Brion’s clear artistic vision of how the play, she acknowledged that staging it has been a challenge.
“Peter Pan asks us to create an imaginary world beyond our wildest dreams,” O’Brion said. However, O’Brion clarified, production has been a challenge for companies staging “Peter Pan” ever since its first run. When “Peter Pan” first played in London, technical difficulties almost prevented it from making it to the stage. However, O’Brion said “We are working hard to find creative solutions to the impressive problems created by a child’s complex mind.”
Wellesley’s production of “Peter Pan” features 13 cast members playing 29 characters, and its cast is a range of brand new to very experienced actors. Heading into show weekend, O’Brion said that she was most excited to see the hard work of her cast and crew culminate in a successful production, and she hopes the turnout at Wellesley would be excited and receptive to an innovative version of the show.
Upstage’s “Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up” will be staged in the Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre in Alumnae Hall on Oct. 23, 24 and 25 at 7 p.m. as well as on Oct. 25 and 26 at 2 p.m. Tickets are free for Wellesley students and $5 for non-Wellesley students; advance tickets are available by emailing email@example.com.