TCOE’s Theatre Company is preparing to perform the beloved family musical Peter Pan this month. Tickets are now available for the seven performances offered July 17-25 at the L.J. Williams Theater in Visalia. Peter Pan is based on J.M. Barrie’s classic tale and has been delighting audiences since its Broadway debut 61 years ago.
In the production, Peter and his mischievous fairy sidekick Tinkerbell visit the home of the Darling children late one night to begin a magical journey across the stars that none of them will ever forget. In the adventure of a lifetime, the travelers come face-to-face with a crocodile, a fierce Indian tribe, a band of bungling pirates, and Captain Hook. The production features the iconic songs “I’m Flying,” “I’ve Gotta Crow,” and “I Won’t Grow Up.”
Fifteen years ago, the Theatre Company performed Peter Pan. This year the beloved musical returns to Tulare County, complete with elaborate sets and costumes and an audience favorite – flying actors. “While this is the first show we have ever repeated, we felt like our current students would benefit greatly from being around this classic material,” said Theatre Company Director Brian Roberts. “The biggest difference this time around is that we are creating our own sets from scratch instead of renting the pieces. Our shop folks have worked tirelessly to create the most intricate sets we have ever constructed.”
Another advantage for this production of Peter Pan is the quality of the performers. “Fifteen years ago, we were a new program. We now have the great pleasure of working with and training many of our students starting at a much younger age,” explained Mr. Roberts. “As a result, their skills are at a much higher level overall and their level of professionalism is startling! You don’t have to look any further than our two lead characters, who have been stars in many of our recent productions.”
In the role of Peter Pan is Theatre Company veteran Carly Caviglia, a senior at Golden West High School. To prepare for the role of the boy who never grows up, Carly reports that she began a regimen of pushups and abdominal crunches in January, before she was even cast in the lead. “The role takes so much stamina,” she said. “I’ve learned to do handstands and cartwheels, and roll around on the ground like boys do!”
In the role of the villainous Captain Hook is Redwood High School senior Jack O’Leary. “Captain Hook is by far my favorite villain,” he said. “I think it’s because he’s full of contrasts. Hook is a posh British aristocrat with the kind of etiquette pirates never have. At times, he can be bloodthirsty and egotistical, while at others, indecisive and childlike. It has been fun playing him, although learning to act with just one hand and a hook has taken some getting used to.”
Special Backstage Event
For this production, the Theatre Company has created a special backstage event for children who would like to meet the characters.
Tickets are now available at TCOE Visalia offices: 2637 West Burrel Avenue and 7000 Doe Avenue, Suite A. General admission tickets are $15 per person. For more information, call the Theatre Company at (559) 651-1482.