The Colonial Gamers of Annapolis go on their season with The Shed Boy, a part-fantasy, component-truth exploration of Peter Pan writer J.M. Barrie’s tumultuous backstory. The participate in, written by Ronald Gabriel Paolillo and directed by Joe Thompson, commences with the tragic celebration that spurred Barrie’s fascination in “lost boys” — the sudden and untimely death of his 13-yr-old brother, David (affectionately referred to as “Davey”).
Rick Estberg as James Barrie commences at this traumatic occasion as a six-calendar year-outdated boy. Estberg has the vary to convincingly inhabit Barrie’s recollections, illuminating the origins of his strained partnership with his mother, Margaret (Shannon Benil). Considerably of the psychological affect of this engage in is carried by Benil, who is devastating in the heartwrenching factors she suggests to Barrie as perfectly as sympathetic in her grief. The relationship concerning Barrie and Margaret in the wake of Davey’s loss of life is performed out satisfyingly, with the bulk of the story subsequent James on a vacation back again to his hometown of Kirriemuir, Scotland, following some successes as a author in London.
When James returns home, he strikes up a friendship with Maureen O’Rourke (Lesley Miller), the wife of the area pub continue to keep. Miller is compellingly fascinated with Barrie as Maureen. The “will-they-won’t-they” character of the romantic relationship among her character and Barrie is 1 of the much better dramatic threads. Scott Sanders performs her chummy and morally questionable spouse, Sean, with aplomb.
Substantially of the participate in will take spot in fantasy sequences. Chase Nester is both equally younger Davey and Peter Pan. He’s a strong actor and carries a lot of the unfolding fantasy as Barrie develops the lore of Neverland. Katia Rini, Emma Miller, and Abigail Traverson play the fairy inhabitants of Neverland (among the other roles), flitting all over as they assist Edd Miller’s Aged Crow, who raises Peter Pan until finally he’s old more than enough to go off on his very own adventures.
Most of the actors perform many roles, relocating in between the real-lifetime tale and the fantasy entire world that Barrie is creating. Miller’s Old Crow will become Captain Hook, then actor Gerald du Maurier. Megan Henderson, a biting and sarcastic Tinker Bell, also turns into by turns James Barrie’s eternally unhappy wife, Mary. This arrangement will work nicely, and anyone in the solid handles the transitions admirably.
The designers are also to be commended for pulling off these a complicated clearly show in the Colonial Players’ one of a kind overall performance place. Edd Miller, who is also the established designer in addition to his several roles, developed moveable items that dot the landscape. At just one minute a established piece may perhaps be a coffin the next, a desk. Director Joe Thompson did a excellent work of holding the lines very clear, and there is hardly ever any confusion through these transitions. Costume Designer Linda Ridge’s nimble abilities also consider us from the late 19th century to the fantasy realm of Neverland.
The Colonial Gamers have brought a compelling manufacturing to their stage. Especially attention-grabbing ended up the aspects of the play that check out the psychological underpinnings of Barrie’s fantasy worlds. I confess, I went into this present wondering that there could not be considerably else to find out about Peter Pan — how incorrect I was! With its sturdy acting and innovative style, The Dropped Boy is a need to-see clearly show on this treasured Annapolis stage.
Managing Time: Two several hours 30 minutes, such as a person 15-minute intermission.
The Missing Boy plays through March 6, 2022, at The Colonial Gamers of Annapolis – 108 East Street, Annapolis, MD. Tickets ($23 regular grownup $18 college student, senior, and military services) can be ordered on the net.
COVID Security: The Colonial Players call for face masks to be correctly worn by every person at all times, irrespective of vaccination status.