Behind the Scenes with the Cast of Peter Pan

Junior+Maia+Frias+as+Peter+Pan+%7Cby+Brianna+Devlin

Brianna Devlin

Junior Maia Frias as Peter Pan |by Brianna Devlin

**** At press time, the musical was scheduled to open tomorrow, March 13. The below was published before Hudson Public Schools announced that it is canceling or postponing all field trips, out-of-state travel and school and community events involving external parties until further notice because of Covid-19. These restrictions implemented regard community exposure to our facilities, students, and staff. More to come as this evolves****

As the curtain closes at the end of the show, the audience may feel awe, gratitude and leave with a sense of wonder. These feelings are the result of months and months of time-intensive preparation; the sweat, the tears, the blocking, the dancing, the learning of harmonies.

Here at Hudson High, The Big Red took the afternoon to sit down with some of the lead actors in Peter Pan to discuss what goes into creating a show behind the scenes.  

Playing the role of Peter Pan, junior Maia Frias went the method acting route and cut her hair into a pixie cut to take on the iconic role. She reflected on the time dedicated to the show.

Veronica Mildish
Lost Boys and Warrior Girls perform “Ugg-a-Wugg” |by Veronica Mildish

“They wanted my hair in a low bun but Peter Pan doesn’t have one so I just decided to cut it,”  Frias explained, “It’s just hair; it will grow back.” 

She continued, “We’re here almost every day, Monday through Thursday. It’s definitely a commitment” 

The rehearsals are structured and require the ability to manage time wisely.

“Most days, acting is from two-thirty to five and then dance is five to seven” Cam Burke commented. Burke is playing the roles of Mr. Darling and Captain Hook.

Burke continued, “There will be some nights where I’m doing homework during dinner or even between scenes at rehearsals. There will be some days where we don’t even get called to rehearsal because of the specific scene they’re doing where they don’t need you.” 

But the actors do not treat the commitment with ingratitude. Each has a love for the stage. 

“What makes it worth it, is the night of the show and getting everyone’s reactions,” said Lauren Lattanzi, who plays Tinkerbell.

Eighth-grader Brenda Rodrigues, in the role of Michael Darling, echoed that sentiment.

“The feeling of validation and recognition makes the weeks of preparation definitely worth it. I’m in eight grade and I was not expecting to get a leading role,  so that makes it worth it for me” said Rodrigues.

Winning three Tony Awards in 1955, the Broadway musical adaptation of Peter Pan performed to sold-out audiences for its Broadway run. It was adapted to television, and included Mary Martin, revising her Tony Award-winning title role as Pan.

Based on the 1911 James Matthew Barrie novel “Peter and Wendy”, the musical follows the magical story of Peter Pan, the boy who does not want to grow up, along with his sidekick Tinkerbell, as they fly into the lives of  Wendy Moira Angela Darling and her two siblings, John and Michael.

With the help of some pixie dust, Peter, Tink, and the Darlings journey to Neverland for adventures with the Lost Boys, and Tigerlilly and quarrels with Captain Hook and his pirates.

Veronica Mildish
The Lost Boys try to help Slightly, played by Julia Stukonis, as he’s trapped in Wendy’s house |by Veronica Mildish

Rounding out the cast here is Alex MacDonald in the role of Wendy and Morgan Weatherbee in the role of Michael Darling. Both actors have been in many Hudson High productions since eighth grade and continue to become a family on and off the stage.

“The people here make it worth it too,” Weatherbee and Mcdonald explained. “We all get super close and it’s really great.” 

Burke agreed, “Even though the process might be a little tiring and a lot of commitment the end product always makes it worth it.”

Though the opening has been postponed, they make hard work look simply beautiful  The production became possible with a team of support.  The cast includes 38 students, nine of them are seniors. The technical crew includes four upperclassmen. The show is directed by Kathleen McKenzie, musical direction by Scott Cruikshank, choreography Rachel Shaw, fight choreography by Jack Colaianni, Costume Design and Construction by Deb Martin-Hardy and set design, lights, and sound by New England Stage Works, as well as many other individuals that will bring this musical to life.