Monday, August 4, 2014

The Bloggers of Neverland—Week Two

The pirates rehearse the Tarantella.
This week our bloggers—Kelsey, Sean and Rachel—share their perspectives of working on Peter Pan. Kelsey, a four-show Summer Players veteran writes about getting to “play” in Peter Pan, while comparing the experience to her past Summer Players roles; Sean shares with what he’s learning and most excited about in the production; and Rachel documents her week of rehearsal with a behind-the-scenes photo blog.

The Magic of Storytelling
By Kelsey Bray

When you were a child, did you ever play make believe? Were you ever the damsel in distress or Prince Charming? Did you ever build a fort to hide in when you were a child? Every person says they won't grow up, but nobody keeps that promise. People don’t know how to be a grown up and a child at the same time, but J.M. Barrie's play, Peter Pan, teaches you that special skill. Peter Pan makes everything a game and everyone is always playing make believe.

Peter Pan is a very special story to tell. During the rehearsal process, the Summer Players are all told to “play” onstage. We will transition into a new scene and when we are transitioning we are in character “building a fort” and making what we are doing fun and interesting. I never truly paid attention to this story until now and I am finally seeing the meaning behind it and the message portrays.

I have been in four Summer Players shows at SCR since fifth grade and no show is ever the same. My first Summer Players show was Cinderella and I played the dove. Cinderella was only the second musical I had ever been a part with an audience that purchased tickets. I was very quiet and I don’t think that I spoke to anyone until tech week. That show taught me how to listen. I learned so many marvelous things because I was always observing. Cinderella taught me how to find my voice and all of the older actors taught me things by just watching them work. Cinderella mainly taught me how to listen to your fellow actors onstage and always be present.

Seussical, on the other hand, was the year I got to channel my inner seven-year-old for the first time. Everything about that show was about playing, just like Peter Pan. I played Jojo in Seussical and that was one of my favorite roles to play because he seemed very two-dimensional on the outside, but he was actually a very complex character. Seussical was the first show that allowed me to dig deep when analyzing my character.

I was in Annie last summer at SCR and it was one of the most terrific experiences, because I got to play Annie. The most amazing part was having extra one on one time with director Hisa Takakuwa and musical director Erin McNally, I learned so much from them. Annie challenged me to be vulnerable and to demonstrate that side of myself onstage.

Throughout my years at SCR, I have grown so much as an actor and a person and I have learned so much. I am very excited for Peter Pan because like every other show I have been in, it challenges me in so many ways. Better yet, rather than reading about the show…come and see Peter Pan and experience the magic for yourself!

What I am Learning from Peter Pan
By Sean Kato

One thing I have noticed in rehearsal is how much fun I have. The most fun thing I did was rehearse music the first week. In putting together the play, the most important thing. I have learned is dancing because I was a novice in the sport.  Peter Pan has been full of many challenges, such as learning the dances. All of this has been great, but the best thing has been learning and working with my fellow actors. The best thing has been learning and working with my fellow actors. My favorite experience so far has been the performing environment at the Summer Players level. I am really look forward to opening night, I think it will be nerve-wracking, but fun.

Behind-the-Scenes in Neverland
Photos by Rachel Charny

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