Final performance of 'Peter Pan' at The U

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The classic story of “Peter Pan” will be told on stage with a final performance Tuesday at the Wayne S. Knutson at The University of South Dakota.

The final show by the USD Department of Theatre is at 7:30 p.m. inside the Knutson Theatre, which is located in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.

This musical version of “Peter Pan,” which features lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and music by Mark Charlap and Jule Styne, will treat the audience to flying effects produced by the same Broadway production company responsible for the 1991 production of “Peter Pan” starring Cathy Rigby. 

Roger Benavides of Miami, Fla., a flying director from ZFX Inc., which is headquartered in Louisville, Ky., has choreographed the flight of Peter and the Darling children by using a number of single-point pick lines located above the stage. When Peter Pan and the Darling children soar through the air, these lines are used to control vertical flight while a traveler track provides opportunities for lateral movement. Offstage fly operators control the height, speed and direction at which the suspended characters fly. When all aspects of production – costumes, lighting, character gesture and movement, and fly operators work as a unit, the effect of flight is a unique and thrilling experience in the theatre and one which can be found in J.M. Barrie’s fantasy about a boy who would not grow up. Audiences will meet Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and the children Wendy, Michael and John who, with the help of islanders on Neverland, outwit the nefarious Captain Hook and his band of raucous pirates. Memorable, timeless songs from “Peter Pan” include “I Won't Grow Up,” “I’m Flying” and “Never Never Land.” 

USD Theatre’s production of “Peter Pan” features Mary Fitzgibbons of Sioux Falls, S.D., starring in the title role while Kevin Kelly of Aberdeen, S.D., and Danielle Heeren of Sioux Falls play Mr. and Mrs. Darling. Kelly also stars as Captain Hook. The Darling children include Brianna Wetrosky of Brandon, S.D., as Wendy, Zach Drane of Amana, Iowa, as John, and Dylan Workman of Vermillion as Michael. Nicole Jorgensen of Tea, S.D., is the family maid, Liza, and scores of other actors complete the cast as pirates, Lost Boys and Neverland islanders. 

Nanette Hofer of Freeman, S.D., assistant professor of theatre, directs both the stage action and the music while Debra Workman of Vermillion is choreographer. Vermillion’s Karl Hermanson is designer of the expansive environment that includes the Darling home, Neverland and the Pirate ship. Linda Wigley Scribner, also of Vermillion, and Anthony Pellecchia of Columbus, Ohio, are theatre faculty responsible for designing costumes and lighting, respectively. 

Tickets for “Peter Pan” are $12 for adults, $8 for youth (K-12) and non-USD students, and $5 for USD students with current ID. Tickets can be purchased at the University Theatre box office from noon to 5 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling the box office at (605) 677-5400 or online at www.usd.edu/fine-arts/theatre. “Peter Pan” is supported by a generous donation from First Bank and Trust.