McLean High School The Terrible Tragedy of Peter PanBy Cappies • Dec 7th, 2010 • Category: Cappies
Peter Pan, the boy who never grows and can fly, is every child’s idol at some point. But, McLean High School destroyed the stereotypical image of Peter Pan with their brilliant production of The Terrible Tragedy of Peter Pan.
The Terrible Tragedy of Peter Pan by Phillip C. Klapperich was first performed at the Chicago House in 2002. This play focuses on the darker aspects usually avoided in the original story of Peter Pan written by J.M. Barrie. The play takes a dive into Peter’s psyche and the reasoning behind the children’s make believe games to create a modern and dark Peter Pan. It is an interesting, if unorthodox retelling of the classic children’s tale.
McLean boasted fabulous character development. Every member of the ensemble possessed a thorough understanding of their character that contributed to a beautiful and believable show. Nick Stone (Peter Pan) built a substantial and impressive character, embodying the childish spirit of Peter Pan. His interactions with the characters created powerful scenes, but one of these interactions surpassed the others. Stone worked extremely well with his own shadow, played by Elliott Duffy. Duffy made a striking and authentic contrast to Stone, and embodied the joyful tone needed for Peter Pan. He presented a powerful, hilarious character that added energy to the entire stage.
Max Johnson (Slightly) formed a hilarious and adorable Lost Boy. Johnson portrayed his character in every movement, line, and interaction, and perhaps most important, maintained his high energy level throughout the entire show. A fellow Lost Boy, Aster Ryu (Tootles) created an uproarious character that greatly added to the stage presence of the Lost Boys. Lexie Shoaibi (Tiger Lily) gave the conviction, power, and strength of an Indian chief. She never broke character, and emitted strength in every line, her power unbroken.
All three distinct ensembles were simply stunning in their interaction and characterization. The joviality of the Lost Boys, the strength of the Indians, and the maliciousness of the Pirates, were completely believable and an indispensable portion of the show.
The technical staff did exactly what it was supposed to do, highlighting everything the actors did. Notably the lighting staff impressively shifted the mood of scenes, and created beautiful transitions. The costumes also added to the time period and realism of the characters. Finally, a gorgeous score composed by McLean student Damian Leverett added to the energy and mood of the show, creating masterful transitions and energized sequences.
Overall, actors portrayed their characters fantastically, but in certain areas more depth could have been added to keep the realism vibrant. At points, the energy level dropped, but strong characters like Slightly and Peter’s Shadow were always able to push the energy right back up. Split focus also plagued the stage at times, distracting form the main point, but the high energy and realism overshadowed this fact.
McLean took a difficult retelling of a classical children’s tale and with a brilliant technical staff, amazing characterization, and defined ensembles, created an exciting and intense show, that with a bit of pixie dust, flew.
by John D’Angelo of West Springfield High School
Photos provided by McLean High School.
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