The Journey to Neverland: Peter Pan Preview

Emily Chudzik, News Editor

Millikin’s Department of Theater and Dance will be putting on a production of “Peter Pan” in the Kirkland Fine Arts Center Nov. 14-16. The cast has been rehearsing in the Old Gym since about mid-September, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturdays from about 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. As time got closer to the show, rehearsals went from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 pm, and once tech week hit, they rehearsed on the stage in Kirkland from 6:00 p.m. to midnight.

“’Peter Pan’ is generally a really fun show. Everyone in it acts like a kid the whole time. The rehearsals and the show itself is us getting to explore what it’s like to be a kid again,” junior Lexis Danca said. Danca plays Tiger Lily and is a musical theater major and dance minor.

This show is unique to Millikin, as it is the first show that will use a fly system. “I’m very excited for people to see people fly! It’s something Millikin hasn’t really seen before,” sophomore Shay Davis said. Davis plays an Indian woman and is a theater major and dance and English literature minor.

Senior musical theatre major Geoffrey Eggleston plays Captain Hook and Mr. Darling. Regarding “Peter Pan,” Eggleston said, “The show is really fun and hilarious! But that’s not all. There’s flying, sword fighting, and, of course, singing and dancing. It’s awesome that there really is something for everybody in this show. The cast is also incredible. Rehearsal has been a lot of fun, and I love getting to know new people through a creative process.”

The great collaboration between cast and crew is what is making this show run so smoothly. “The collaboration with our production team is really fun; their visions are so cool. When we work together we get a great product,” senior Annamarie Abbate said. Abbate plays an Indian woman, is the dancer captain, and is a BA theater major and a dance minor.

The overall closeness of the cast is another factor that makes the show what it is. “We’re so comfortable [with each other] and able to do more and be more creative. It’s a good environment to be in,” Danca said.

Senior Rachel Reininger, who plays Peter Pan and is a BFA acting major and a dance minor, said, “I love coming to rehearsal every day. The energy and joy every person brings to this production really gives it life. To put it simply, ‘I’ll never grow up.’ Age is only a number and life is too short to be worried about the little things.”

“This is my first year at Millikin. I wanted to come here for more knowledge of the craft,” junior Kayla Hagaman, who is a swing and a BFA musical theater major, said. “My favorite part is the experience of being a swing. I have to understudy fourteen different roles, so I have been at every rehearsal and seen the progress. I love seeing it develop every day.”

It is safe to say that all involved are grateful for the new experiences this show has brought them. Eggleston said, “As an actor, each role you take challenges you in new ways. The show has really pushed me out of comfort zone. This is the most physically demanding part I’ve played. I’ve learned how to sword fight and how to walk in high heels, two things that I never thought that I would be doing at the same time.”

Peter Pan is another example of Millikin’s performance learning and professionalism. Davis said, “Being in this show has given me experience. Millikin holds rehearsals very much like how it is in the real world.”

For more information on how to purchase tickets, check out the Box Office in Kirkland or the website for the Department of Theater and Dance.