In Department of Theatre and Media Arts, Experiential Learning, Faculty and Staff, Students

The theatre department is currently working to reschedule the production — which was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns — for the Fall 2020 semester

On March 12, life in the Department of Theatre and Media Arts was turned upside down as rehearsals ground to a halt, performances were cancelled and students were instructed to return home due to COVID-19 concerns — all just a week before mainstage production “Wendy & Peter Pan” was set to open.

Benjamin Raymant as Peter Pan and Dakota Clement as Wendy. (Madeline Mortensen/BYU Photo)

Despite their disappointment after months of preparation, members of the cast and technical crew of playwright Ella Hickson’s retelling of the J.M. Barrie classic look back on the rehearsal process as a formative experience and highlight of their BYU education, audience or no audience.

“I was really excited to be one of the ones creating the magic, since Neverland is such a vivid location for so many people,” said student set designer Elisabeth Goulding. “The challenge of bringing a beloved story to stage is always one of managing expectations. You’ve got to find a balance between creating a distinct Neverland that’s unique to the needs of this production but still has a spark of the familiar Neverland that we already know and love. I wanted to help capture the same sense of wonder and excitement that I remember feeling when reading about Wendy and Peter’s adventures.”

For theatre education major Skyler Denfeld, who played Slightly, one of the most impactful parts of working on “Wendy & Peter Pan” was watching director Kris Jennings Peterson unite the cast in common goals for what they needed to convey in their performance and develop as actors.

“Kris asked us to really think about the play’s exploration of light and dark,” said Denfeld. “We talked a lot about the light in our lives and the shadows that we all have, and how we deal with the contrast that the light and the dark create. We also talked about learning to fight the shadows and accept the light.” 

Read the full story at the Department of Theatre and Media Arts website.

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