SARANAC LAKE — Take a time-out from the holiday frazzle with Peter, Tink and Hook in Pendragon Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Peter Pan” opening Friday in Saranac Lake.
The show stars approximately 35 children from the Tri-Lakes region.
“I’ve done Christmas shows here for eons, so it seems like,” director Kent Streed said. “We finished up last year with ‘A Christmas Carol.’ Bob Pettee had been Scrooge for so long, so I thought it was time for a good, clean break. We have switched around with some Christmas shows. We had a variety in the past. I was looking for a show, all kids.”
Streed’s search led to Christmas-slanted productions of “Snow White,” “Peter Pan” and the “Wizard of Oz.”
“A Christmas Peter Pan” is Kathryn Schultz Miller’s adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic children’s tale.
“I read this ‘Peter Pan,’” Streed said. “I liked it. It held together a little better. It had the potential for lots and lots of kids. So, I said, OK, let’s see what happens.”
Auditions were held in the early fall.
“There was a fair amount of word-of-mouth and people calling,” he said. “There were some kids I cast sight unseen. At our first read through, I kind of met everyone for real, and they met each other and we took off from there.”
The play’s plot centers on the dastardly Captain Hook, who has captured Santa Claus and Peter Pan.
“He’s going to set out to ruin Christmas forever and ever and ever,” Streed said. “Tinker Bell comes and rallies the forces. There’s an interesting twist, by accident or playwright’s intent, the play starts in contemporary time and the children go back into the story of Peter Pan and that’s where the adventure begins.”
The dreamlike state will make the audience wonder did it or did it not really happen.
“The children, at the end, they rescue all the toys, and the toys are very contemporary toys. That’s not the darling we know about from the book and movie that is set in Victorian London. The story comes to life. It’s almost like we’re in a dream.”
The set and costuming are minimal.
“The other thing that appealed to me, she (Miller) writes things for kids to perform, bare bones, in an auditorium,” Streed said. “They can run in and run out. There’s not a lot of scenery. I’m, hopefully, making the audience use as much of their imagination as the kids who enter into this word of Peter Pan and Hook.”
Email Robin Caudell:firstname.lastname@example.orgIF YOU GO WHAT: "A Christmas Peter Pan," directed by Kent Streed. WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Monday and Dec. 27; 2 p.m. matinee Saturday. WHERE: Pendragon Theatre, 15 Brandy Brook Ave., Plattsburgh. ADMISSION: Tickets are $8. PHONE: 891-1854. WEBSITE: www.pendragontheatre.org.