This spring, DreamWrights is excited to stage the world premiere of Peter Pan and Mary, a charming story by local playwright, Paige Hoke. Hoke says she was inspired to write this original play during a children’s theatre class she took while working towards her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Arcadia University. “We did a very large unit on J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. The first scene of my play was an assignment for that class in which we had to write a scene where two characters from the story were trying to persuade the other,” explains Hoke. She says the class was encouraged to think outside the box. So the play was born from her doing just that: “What if Wendy wasn’t the first girl Peter introduced to Neverland?”
Hence, Hoke’s Peter Pan and Mary was imagined, a prequel to the Peter Pan story we all know and love. The tale she weaves is the story of what happens to Peter many years before he meets Wendy, John, and Michael. She explains, “We find out how Hook becomes Hook. We learn about Tinkerbell and Nana’s past. We see a few familiar names and places, and we meet some brand new characters as well.”
In the spirit of cooperation, Hoke has been available to answer questions and give advice to Guest Director, Andrea Unger. “It’s not often that the director can pick the brain of the playwright,” discloses Unger. When asked why she wanted to direct this play, Unger explains, “I love that the protagonist and antagonist are both strong female characters. In addition, it has sword fights, pirates, and fairies! This is going to be a creative, humorous production. I can’t wait to see what the cast and crew does with it!”
Paige Hoke is the Director of Theater and Chorus at York Country Day School, where she teaches and directs full time. She attended Arcadia University, receiving a BFA in Acting. She has worked as an actor, teacher, writer, and director in theatre, first in Philadelphia, and then in the York area.
Hoke’s play The Princess Rescuers was produced at Arcadia University and received an Excellence in Playwriting Award, the David Mark Cohen Region II Award, and a nomination for best play for young audiences from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Paige’s short play, The Littlest Fairy, was selected to be produced at the “8 in 48 Idaho” Short Play Festival. Her adaptation of The Secret Garden was produced at DreamWrights last year.
Join Peter Pan and Mary on their adventure which begins Friday, March 5 at 6:30 pm and May 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 6:30 pm and May 6, 7, 14 and 21 at 2:30 pm. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 717-848-8623. Advance seats cost $10 for general, $14 for reserved. General admission seats at the door cost $12.