The Theatre School at DePaul University will present “Peter Pan
and Wendy,” adapted by Doug Rand from the cherished J.M. Barrie novel and
directed by Ernie Nolan, as the final installment of the 2015-16 Chicago
Playworks for Families and Young Audiences season. The production opens April
21 and runs through May 28 at DePaul’s historic Merle Reskin Theatre.
Performances are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m., and Saturdays at 2 p.m.
Special Friday performances will occur at 10 a.m. on April 29 and May 13, and a
Sunday performance will be held on May 22 at 2 p.m. There is no Saturday
performance on May 21.
“Peter Pan” is the classic tale of three children who are
whisked away to the fantasy world of Neverland by its titular boy hero.
Director Ernie Nolan approached the adaptation with ardent enthusiasm. “‘Peter
Pan’ has been on my bucket list for years,” he said. “Not only has it had a
special place in my heart since I was in it as a child performer, but many
theatre for young audiences scholars think of it as the first contemporary play
for young people. With its child hero, adult villain, fantastic location, sense
of enchantment, and audience participation, it set the structure and standard, in
1904 for children's entertainment in the 20th century.”
Nolan is an award-winning director and playwright who received
the Illinois Theatre Association’s 2014 Award for Excellence in Theatre for
Young Audiences. In addition to being an assistant professor of theatre studies
at The Theatre School at DePaul University, he is the producing artistic
director of Emerald City Theatre in Chicago, vice president of Theatre for
Young Audiences USA, and creator of ECT Playground, a process to develop new
TYA works. Nolan recently directed “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at the Broadway
Playhouse and his work as a playwright has been featured both nationally and
internationally at such theatres as The Coterie, First Stage, Walnut Street,
Orlando Rep, and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte.
“Peter Pan and Wendy” is recommended for all ages, and
complimentary teacher guides are available online for educators and interested
audience members. Nolan aims to make the performance as exciting as possible, with
a modern touch. “Our production will be a hilarious, magical, on-the-seat-of-your-chair
theatrical event,” he explained. “And as Wendy escapes reality into fantasy, a
more contemporary and rebellious edge permeates the world of the play. Peter,
the ultimate thrill-seeking bad boy, appears to Wendy right as she is
discovering the biggest adventure of all: growing up.”
The cast features Trevor Bates, Andra Beatty, Nosakhere
Cash-O’Bannon, Kayla Raelle Holder, Rebecca Keeshin, Sam Krey, Nicole Lockard,
Ian Miller, Carolyn Moore, Samantha Newcomb, David Shea Peterson, Elise
Randall, Lily Rosenzweig, Mikey Russo, Sarah Serabian, Michael Stock, Arie
DuPree Thompson, Zivon Toplin, and Harrison Weger.
The production team includes scenic design by Jake Ives,
costume design by Nicole Foster, lighting design by Vada Briceno, sound design
by Sebastian Woldt, dramaturgy by Kaysie Bekkela, and stage management by Cat
DePaul University’s Merle Reskin Theatre is located at 60 E.
Balbo Drive, in Chicago. For information about parking, please contact the box
office at 312-922-1999. The theatre is accessible via CTA busses (3-King Drive,
29-State Street, 146 Michigan/Museums and others), and CTA ‘L’ stops (Red,
Blue, Brown, Green, Orange, Purple, and Pink).
Tickets are $10. Subscriptions and group rates (15 or more
people) are available. DePaul employees, alumni, and college students receive a
discount with a valid ID. Tickets are available online or by calling the box
For patrons who are blind of have low vision, the performance
on May 19 at 10 a.m. will include a live audio description of the visual and
physical events onstage. The performances on May 12 at 10 a.m. and May 14 at 2
p.m. will be interpreted in American Sign Language. TTY: 773-325-7975. If
patrons require wheelchair accessible and/or companion seating, or have any
other hearing or vision needs, please let the box office staff know upon ticket
April 23 is USO of Illinois Day. U.S. Armed Forces personnel
with a valid military ID and their families can attend the performance for
free. Visit www.tixfortroops.org to
reserve tickets or call 773-325-7900 for more information. Additional special
events include an autograph session with the cast following the 2 p.m.
performance on April 23, and post-show discussions on May 5 and 22.