Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



This written portion of my thesis documents how I, as Director, set about to bring J.M. Barrie’s classic, Peter Pan to the contemporary stage. I take the reader through my in-depth research into Barrie’s many adaptations of his story, seeking an understanding of the evolution of Peter Pan and noting major elements that were retained across time and those that were changed, in search of the “true” story of Peter Pan. I explore how my discoveries informed design choices, were folded into rehearsals, and ultimately arrived on stage.

In seeking the backbone of a classic, the vast interpretive history of Peter Pan and its many adaptations also gave me a sense of freedom to make my own changes. I discuss the major re-imagining of Tiger Lily and the Redskins to become the collaboratively created Never Landers, a dance ensemble of otherworldly characters sprung from the land itself.

I explore the major themes I identified in the play and discuss decisions to bring darkness, longing and loneliness to the stage rather than glossing over the complex elements of the story in order to create something cute for children. Finally, I offer an exploration of the production process as a major collaboration with many artists and consider various elements of my collaborations with the design team, fight director, dance choreographer, and the actors.

First Advisor

Gilbert W. McCauley