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Climbing Trees and Building Fires: Jacquelle Blogs on Peter/Wendy

I have always identified with the story of Peter Pan. Adventure, magic, heroes and villains – these were the foundations of my childhood make believe games. I would play with my siblings, and I took the games so seriously and passionately that sometimes I had to force them to play make believe with me.

Playing Lost Boy has fulfilled a dream the younger me always had, and never thought I would get the chance to do. When I hit puberty I was so sad. I thought “Oh no, maybe I will never get to play Peter Pan now.” It had been a dream to play even just one of the characters in a Peter Pan show. But now, as a 29 year old, I have been given the opportunity to play the character from this story I truly identify with: the Lost Boy. Lost Boy has an innocence, loyalty, ferocity, and strength that I believe we all have as children, and forget overtime as we become adults. Lost Boy does not judge and feels honesty. Lost Boy gets angry, and loves fiercely. These are qualities that I am drawn to and try to “remember” to have as an adult. As a woman, these attributes are also qualities that sometimes society does not like us to feel so strongly. One of the reasons I love the story of Peter Pan is because all of the characters are trying to push back against the stereotypes they have been given. I also believe that we as humans can relate to each and every one of the characters- even Hook (one of my personal favorite characters).

These characters bring me back to a time of possibility and mischief. When the world wasn’t so scary, but the thought of getting a “job” was utterly terrifying and unrealistic. When it was ok to hope and dream. I think this play reminds us of those times. If I had to pick an example to describe this play, I would obviously use an example from childhood: Have you ever had that moment, where you are playing with a brother or sister, or friend, and you are rough housing and having a grand time? Then for one moment, you lose yourself. You get so caught up in the moment and the euphoria of playing, and the next thing you know you were too rough and they got hurt? You feel so may things, remorse, sadness, excitement, confusion? You didn’t necessarily do anything right or wrong, and you were having fun, but..yeah, it’s kind of like that.

One of my favorite moments in this show (there are so many) is when Peter tells us to attack the plank!  I whip out my imaginary Lost Boy claws and maul an acting block, all the while growling like a feral child let loose after one too many popsicles. It gives me the deepest satisfaction. It reminds me of running barefoot in the summer, climbing trees in a dress just to prove I could, wrestling my brothers and losing every time but still trying anyway. Or the fact that I couldn’t be in the Boy Scouts learning how to build fires but instead had to sew a pillowcase. Don’t worry I learned anyhow! Because the truth is, there is a Lost Boy in all of us. Whether we are male, female, non binary, young, old, in-between- there is a wild, free inner Lost Boy that just wants to have fun and be loved. And I am so excited I get to show you mine, if even just for a moment.