Peter Pan (Webre)

  • Choreographer: Septime Webre
  • Music: Carmen DeLeone
  • Costumes: Claudia Lynch
  • Lighting: Kevin Meek
  • Set Design: Jay Depenbrock and Holly Highfull
  • World Premiere: The Washington Ballet, February 1, 2001
  • PBT Performance Date: February 16-18, 2007;

Program Notes


Act I

The Darling Home

As the curtain rises in the Darling nursery, John and Michael are fighting a pirates’ duel to the finish when Wendy and Nana, the dog, join in the commotion. Mr. and Mrs. Darling and Liza, the maid, come in to wish the children goodnight.

Suddenly, a chilly wind blows the window open, and Tinker Bell flies in, scattering her fairy dust around the room, followed by Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, who is looking for his shadow, which he thinks he lost there and hasn’t seen in a long, long time. After a search, Peter finds his shadow, but when he tries to put it on, it won’t stick. Wendy awakens and seeing his dilemma, sews his shadow on with a needle and thread.

When the boys wake up, Peter teaches the children to fly. They soar around the room and then fly out the window toward Never Never Land–past the second star on the right and straight on til morning.

Never Never Land

Arriving in Never Never Land, Peter, Tinker Bell, and the Darling children encounter the Lost Boys, who think Wendy is a bird and shoot her with a bow and arrow. Tinker Bell heals Wendy with her fairy magic, and they all dance and celebrate.

When the pirates march onto the scene, led by Peter’s enemy, Captain Hook, the group scatters. The pirates are looking for a fight with Peter but run when they hear a ticking sound and see the crocodile that ate Captain Hook’s hand and also swallowed a clock.

Soon Tiger Lily and the Indian maidens appear in the moonlight, and the pirates surprise them and capture Tiger Lily. Seeing her distress, Peter disguises himself as a nymph to distract Captain Hook and rescues Tiger Lily. The Lost Boys and Indians celebrate, while Captain Hook vows revenge.

Twenty-minute intermission

Act II

The Lost Boys’ Home Under the Ground

As Wendy reads a bedtime story to the Lost Boys, the evil pirates creep in and capture Wendy, John, Michael, and the Lost Boys. Frantic about this turn of events, Tinker Bell pleads with Peter to save them.

The Jolly Roger

The pirates dance aboard ship and threaten to make the children walk the gang plank. Peter flies in to save them, and a sword fight ensues. Peter and the Lost Boys are victorious, and Captain Hook is pushed overboard, much to the glee of his enemy, the crocodile. Wendy becomes homesick and realizes she and her brothers can’t remain children forever and must return home. Peter claims he’ll never grow up. Wendy and the Darling Boys fly away.

The Darling Home

Mr. and Mrs. Darling are grief stricken over the disappearance of their children when suddenly they appear, and there is a joyful reunion. As Wendy looks back, she see Peter through the window and realizes the child within her will always remain.

DIVERTISSEMENT (Fr., entertainment) (from PBT playbill, 2007)

 Did You Know?

Peter Pan was first penned in 1902 with a short story, contained within a novel, written by James M. Barrie, author and dramatist.  Its appeal to both children and adults has kept it in the public eye and the forefront of literature for over 100 years.  The following mile markers appear on a continuous road of performances, book sales, film versions, and adaptations.  How many of these Peter Pan facts did you know?

1902 – Peter Pan first appeared as a small story within a novel written for adults by James Matthew Barrie and entitled The Little White Bird.

1904 – From creative play with the five sons of his friends Arthur and Sylvia Llewelyn-Davies, Peter Pan or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up was written as a play.  It was a huge success and took England and the United States by storm in 1905.

1906 – The section of The Little White Bird that originated the story of Peter Pan was published separately as Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.

1911 – The highly successful play of 1904-1905 was rewritten as a novel entitled Peter and Wendy.  The names of the Llewelyn-Davies children are used for characters in the story: George (Mr. Darling), John, Michael Nicholas, and Peter.

1924 – The copyright for the play and novel was gifted to the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London so it would receive income from the sales and performances.  Also, in this year, the first film version of Peter Pan, a silent movie, was released.

1953 – Walt Disney releases his animated feature film of Peter Pan.

1954 – The stage production of Peter Pan, mounted by Jerome Robbins and starring Mary Martin, opens on Broadway.

1955 – The 1954 Broadway show starring Mary Martin is broadcast as an historic, live, color-television event.  It is re-broadcast six more times through 1989.

2004 – In order to continue receiving benefits from Peter Pan, as James M. Barrie intended, the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital announces an authorship contest to write a sequel to Peter Pan.  Author Geraldine McCaughrean is selected.

2006 – Peter Pan in Scarlet, “the first-ever authorized sequel to J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan” is released.