Tickets are on sale at trybooking.com here.
About The Production
By Fiona Martin Drama Teacher
Why was JM Barrie’s Peter Pan the perfect choice for Preshil?
The narrative of Peter Pan espouses the value of make believe, childhood imaginings and friendship. It reminds us about the richness of a child’s imagination and the wonderful creativity of play. These are things that we value highly at Preshil. For our interpretation of Peter Pan, we wanted to highlight the poignancy of the story and try to look further into the meaning behind Peter’s wish to remain always “a little boy and to have fun”. The play asks us to think about the process of growing up, it reminds us of our own childhoods and how fleeting they are and to perhaps, for a moment, fondly mourn the loss of such an innocent time. Herein lies the beauty of the story of Peter Pan.
After numerous discussions about the play I, along with Rodney Waterman and Charlotte Jowett, discovered that we had a common idea regarding the style of the play. We loved the idea of using found objects, toys and toy instruments to reflect the feeling of a messy children’s room and their tools of trade: toys. The toys gain a special importance by becoming the music, the flying puppets and the weapons. Stylistically we needed to be very portable, and clever, given the interesting space we have chosen to perform in.
The beautiful Oratory building at the Abbotsford Convent poses a special challenge for us and it will be exciting to see our play take shape in that space. Our wonderful cast has committed time, energy and insight throughout our rehearsal period. They have brought their own childhood experiences into the mix and have discovered the beauty of the play, as it has been revealed to them during the rehearsal process. They have been brave and inquisitive actors, willing to experiment with new ways of presenting their characters. They have revealed to me, as individuals and as a group, their understanding of the preciousness and freedom of a good childhood. The entire cast has been such a delight to work with.
Hook: “Pan, who and what art thou?” he cried huskily.
Peter: “I’m youth, I’m joy,” Peter answered at a venture, “I’m a little bird that has broken out of the egg.”
Art Department | Props
By Charlotte Jowett Props Maker
JM Barrie’s Peter Pan is a fabulously magical and adventurous story of faerie and swashbucklement. Of imagination and other worlds. Of heart stopping excitement and human tenderness. Of monsters and marvels. It tells of abandonment and lost childhood; of children braver, smarter and more resourceful than the adults who surround them. Of wonder and wickedness. It tells of the complexity of being small, young and vulnerable – and of having to be brave and stick up for what your heart desires. A very human experience.
The puppets were inspired by the behavior of children playing with their toys in real life. In this kind of play, the child animates the toy using their own body to move it through time and space; and their imagination to give it character. The toy ‘lives’ through its child operator.
This interpretation of Peter Pan links the fantasy element of Barrie’s story with temporal reality through play – and play is an important and valuable element of the child’s learning experience at Preshil. The actor operators have been closely involved in the various stages of building their own puppet. Cutting out and sewing the bodies; sculpting the hands and feet from glad wrap, wool, armature wire and Elastoplast; painting the faces and creating hairstyles from coarse string. Each stage involved the actor’s close observation of their own physical characteristics, and the integration of such observation into their puppet.
Not all of the puppets are soft bodied, John is a fully articulated cardboard marionette style puppet – entirely the creation of his maker. Tinkerbell will be an expressive ball of light; reflecting her character’s mischievous passion and vulnerability to the whim of make believe. Inspiration for the painted faces was drawn from the work of Mirka Mora, a Melbourne artist who has a long association with Preshil, and also from Japanese Manga styles of illustration. As a parent of Nick in Year 8, I have really enjoyed this opportunity to volunteer and collaborate with the students to develop and produce the puppets. They are a lively and entertaining group of people. And it will be these children who bring their puppets to ‘life’, as they rehearse and play with them in Preshil’s unique and dynamic production of Peter Pan.
By Rodney Waterman Music Teacher
We are currently working on composing an original score for this production. With the help of a number of students, together they have written many songs and are currently sorting out some very special incidental music with unusual instruments. Without giving too much away, Neverland activities will be accompanied by a toy orchestra and Federation Handbells. We have arranged the hire of a set of these beautiful bells (24 in all) from Museum Victoria especially for the production.
Tickets are on sale at trybooking.com here.