by Lorie Lewis Ham
Peter Pan opens at the Enchanted Playhouse in Visalia this weekend. We took a moment to chat with the show’s director Kelly Ventura.
KRL: Would you tell us a bit about yourself and your connection to the Enchanted Playhouse?
Kelly: I am a board member with EPTC, and I am directing the last show of the season for us, Peter Pan.
KRL: Tell us about your production of Peter Pan.
Kelly: This show is dedicated to the memory of a young boy from the U.K. named Charlie Gard. His short life inspired me to write this stage version of Peter Pan. I wanted to write something that stayed close to the original book. For obvious reasons I shied away from any previous animated versions. However, our creative team has come up with some awesome costume designs that hold true to some of the classic “looks” of Peter Pan. Especially Hook and Tinkerbell.
?KRL: Why did you decide to do this show?
Kelly: For over twenty-five years the Enchanted Playhouse Theatre has been a place where the world of make-believe is very much alive. We are the only children’s and family theatre in the Central Valley. Over the years we have created a kind of Neverland for many people. And I felt this was the right time to produce a show that captures the Neverland idea. We all need a place where imagination and adventure thrive. The story of Peter Pan offers us a magical place just beyond the open window.
KRL: Is there anything different about your production of this show?
Kelly: This show is different in that it is an original adaptation of the public domain novel Peter Pan. It holds very true to the book. However it’s impossible not to allow your creativity to get to a point in the original story and ask, “Wait a minute…what if…?” So there are a few diversions from the book which stem from me as the writer thinking up new ways to engage today’s audiences.
KRL: What are the ages of the cast?
Kelly: The age range of the cast is quite diverse from eleven-years-old to mid 40s.
KRL: Will there be any flying in the show? How to do you go about doing that?
Kelly: Fingers crossed! There will be flying in the show. One of EPTC’s alumnus is studying film down in SoCal, and we shot some green screen video. I’m hoping it comes across on the stage as it does on the screen.
KRL: Were there any special challenges to putting this show on?
Kelly: Not necessarily but we did have most of the cast go through special stage combat training with Under The Black Flag out of SoCal. They rehearsed about eight action sequences and spent every Saturday for about six weeks in training. As a director, I am super proud of their hard work.
KRL: What have you enjoyed most about putting this show together? What do you like best about this show?
Kelly: As a director I like to put modern twists on characters. This includes portraying strong female leads as opposed to the traditional “damsel in distress” stories. I think it is something that is long overdue, and every young audience member needs to see it. For example, we have made Wendy more assertive. She stands up to Hook, and with sword in hand comes to the rescue of her brothers. I also made Tinkerbell a bit of a fighter and sort of emphasized how she is portrayed in the book. Also, most of the cast members went through stage combat training, so there are plenty of opportunities for our female leads to take charge.
?KRL: What are the dates and times? How much are the tickets and where can they be purchased?
Kelly: The show runs April 27 through May 12. Check our new Enchanted Playhouse Theater website for show times.
KRL: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Kelly: This year I wanted to do something special so we have added “Meet and Greet” sessions that will take place an hour before showtime on select days. We always do autograph sessions at the end of our shows, but this will give certain young audience members a one-on-one experience with Tinkerbell, Tiger Lilly, Wendy, or Pan. Tickets include admission to the show, preferred seating, a chance for personalized pictures, and a goodie bag. They will also have an opportunity to show their bravery and help free Tinkerbell or Tiger Lilly from Captain Hook. Tickets for the “Meet and Greet” are $15 per child and are only available at our box office.
Enchantment Playhouse Theater Company
307 E. Main Street
Visalia, California 93291
Facebook – Enchanted Playhouse Theater Company
Friday performances: $8.00 , ticket outlets $7.00
Fridays, April 27, May 4, 11, 2018 @7:00 pm
Saturday performances; $8.00, $7.00 at ticket outlets.
Saturday, April 28, May 5, 12, 2018 @4:00 pm
Matinee performances: $5.00 per ticket
April 29, May 6, 2018 @2:00
**** Ticket outlets: Valhalla’s, Party Works, Espi’s ( behind Carl’s Jr on Mooney )
Tickets available at our box office 1/2 before showtime and can be purchased online.
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