(Orem, Utah) -- Director Shawn Mortensen believes there is a reason why the line at Disneyland’s Peter Pan attraction is typically an hour or more long.
“I think it’s because there is something magical about a world where people can fly and find a whole new world in Neverland,” he explains. “It is a timeless and classic story, and we are excited to stage it under the stars this month as part of the Shell’s 35th Anniversary Season.”
Peter Pan, Wendy Darling and her brothers John and Michael will whisk audiences away on their captivating journey to a place where no one ever grows up beginning July 5 with performances continuing Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. through July 20.
Tickets range from $12 to $18 for adults and $10 to $16 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and older. They are available at www.scera.org, by calling 801-225-ARTS, or at the main office SCERA Center (745 S. State St., Orem) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, or at the Shell gate prior to performance. Non-profit groups of 20 or more may obtain non-refundable tickets in advance for just $6.00.
“Peter Pan” was originally staged as a play in 1904 and a novel in 1911. More than a century old, Sir J.M. Barrie’s classic tale still enchants audiences, especially as a musical with such iconic songs as “I’m Flying,” “I Gotta Crow,” “I Won’t Grow Up” and “Never Never Land.” What unfolds is a beloved Tony Award-winning show where the travelers come face to face with a ticking crocodile, a fierce Indian tribe, a band of bungling pirates and the quintessential villain, Captain Hook.
“It has been a few years since SCERA staged ‘Peter Pan,’ and in that earlier production I played Captain Hook,” Mortensen explains. “I loved being in a world where fairies still exist, people can jump out of windows and fly, where everyone can be a kid and adventures await at every turn. I jumped—or flew—at the chance to direct it this time.”
Mortensen is also the set designer and is staging “Peter Pan” so audiences can wonder whether the Darling children actually fly to Neverland or whether it is a fanciful fiction in their bedrooms as they dwell in that half-awake, half-asleep state. “You will get a glimpse of their mother, Mrs. Darling, in Neverland as well as Mr. Darling, personified by Captain Hook. The pirates in the musical are the adults, and hint at the responsibilities expected of them. The clock is an element to remind us that the clock is always ticking, so we need to make the most of our time. My daughter Paisley, for example, is already nine years old, and I’m always asking myself, ‘How did she get to be nine? I remember clearly when she was a baby!”
SCERA is using ZFX Inc. for the flying effects to provide a safe, professional flying system that allows for effective soaring. “It should be wonderful to see people actually flying against the Utah skies,” Mortensen adds. Another feature will be waterfalls on stage to add to the magic of Neverland.
Major roles include Kevin Bigler as Peter Pan, Nathanial Noyes as Captain Hook, Ella Child as Wendy Darling, Emily McKell as Tiger Lily, Kendall Bowman as Smee, Cameron Ward and Rome Stewart as brothers John and Michael Darling, and Lyla Oakeson as Tinkerbell.
Assisting Mortensen will be Brandalee Bluth Streeter as music director; Sunny Watts as choreographer, Danielle Berry as stage manager, Kelsey Seaver as costume designer, Chase Elison as lighting designer and Christy Norton as props designer.
An extra fun for those who attend, the printed playbill will have a list of props from previous SCERA shows that have been strategically hidden in the “Peter Pan” set for audiences to try and spot before the show and during intermission.
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