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Peter Pan leaves trail of pixie dust over Bainbridge
Peter Pan is definitely a show the whole family can get into. Just ask the Craigheads.
They’re all in it: Robert, Sue Ellen, Trent and Dana.
Dana was still in diapers when BPA Creative Director Steven Fogell’s adaptation of the J.M. Barrie classic had a run seven years ago.
The Craigheads had just moved to Bainbridge, making a bee-line for community theater. They’ve taken turns in various productions, but this is the first time they’ve all been part of the same one, thanks to a “walk-on” part received on a bid at a recent BPA fundraiser.
“Technically it’s not a walk-on,” explained Sue Ellen of her opening-act bit part. “I just sit there. I do have to walk off at some point though. There is walking involved.”
Husband Robert has a little more extensive role, er, roles: he plays both father figure George Darling and the dastardly villain, the notorious Captain Hook.
“Well, at home, he’s much more Mr. Darling,” Sue Ellen said. No walking the plank for her and the kids.
Fogell’s Hook is a “complex man,” Robert said.
Son Trent, 11, plays Darling’s son, which doesn’t seem like a stretch.
“But I get to play someone half my age,” he said.
His character, Michael, starts out “as a timid kid, but by the end gets to see fairies, mermaids and fight a pirate.”
“The show has some really funny turns and surprises,” he said.
Let’s just say Fogell takes a few liberties, infusing sassy contrast into some roles, particularly Alpha-mermaid Minerva, worked to the hilt by Victoria Wilson, and the world’s most famous fairy played on the sharp notes by Nikki Sharp. She came to the play via her involvement with Bainbridge Dance Center, which collaborated with Fogell on this production. Sharp enjoys “Tink’s” edgier qualities.
“She’s jealous and full of love. She just doesn’t know how to show her love yet.”
Another character who dances with his shadow, in this case literally, is Peter Pan, aka Shaun Pearson, who delivers dynamic energy to every scene he’s in.
Pearson, 23, invokes his South African upbringing toward a credible British accent. Though he wasn’t familiar with the story, his degree in theater and “already being a kid at heart,” helped him bring enthusiasm to the beloved role.
“Shaun is amazing,” Fogell said.
Dana, the youngest Craighead – and the youngest cast member – will turn 9 on opening weekend. She’s been in dance productions before, but this is her first BPA play.
“It’s fun,” she said of her role as one of the Lost Boys. “I get to be another person. I get to do things I’ve never done before.”
Fogell, who has done this before, says things are on track for opening night. This one truly is a show for the whole family.
And if you don’t believe him, just ask the Craigheads.
Visit www.bainbridgeperformingarts.org to watch a video about the play.
Adapted by Steven Fogell; Directed by Steven Fogell and Lee Ann Hittenberger; Choreography by Bainbridge Dance Center – Susan Thompson, BryAnn Bingham, and Kipplin Sagmiller.
Original music created by Wesley Corbett and Simon Chrisman.