Matt Conner on ‘Peter Pan and Wendy’ at Creative Cauldron by Matt Conner

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peter and wendy poster useI have been a teaching artist with Creative Cauldron in Falls Church for eleven years now. Peter Pan and Wendy is a part of the Learning Theatre Workshop, a process where young aspiring artists work along side Professional Artists to collaborate on a final show. I have been privileged to be a part of such shows in the past as Oliver TwistMadeline and the Gypsies, Eddie Allan Poe and The Selfish GiantPeter Pan and Wendy has been created in the same process as other Learning Theatre shows in the past. Children who sign up for the workshop give their input, along with the Costume/Set Designer Margie Jervis, Artistic Director Laura Connors Hull, and my addition as composer.

For this particular show I wanted to embrace the show as if I hadn’t been influenced by other productions (which is nearly impossible, but I tried). I have given the Crocodile in the show a song called “Clock in a Crock,” wrote a song for the Mermaids called “The Lagoon”, and wrote an audience participation number entitled “Keep the Beat,” used to revive Tink from the brink of death. This is the most extensive score that I have written for the Learning Theatre, and I believe anyone who has seen Peter Pan before will thoroughly enjoy the originality of this production. We have even dusted off the novel and brought to life the Neverbird, (which is almost always left out of the show) and given her a song.

Matt Conner.
Matt Conner.

The proof in our Leaning Theatre experiences are the returning veterans who grow with each show and learn a little more about the performing arts which can be applied in their life on and off the stage. The character building helps them realize the necessity for collaborating, listening, responding and ultimately believing in what this particular story is about: dreams.

We meet with the children for two hours every Saturday for 7 weeks, and every session we add more dialogue, music and choreography. We stretch their limits and focus on the strengths of each individual, and by the end we have a product that the children and families truly adore. I am currently in the last phase of working on orchestrations with Mr. Gabe Mangiante and adding all the bells and whistles to the soundscape of our show. He will be adding instrumentation to give each and every song a unique sound.

If you are looking for a Family night at the theatre this is one not to be missed.

Peter Pan and Wendy plays from March 1-24, 2013 at Creative Caudron at ArtSpace Falls Church -410 South Maple Avenue, in Falls Church, VA. Performance are  Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 2:00 pm and  7:30 pm, and Sundays at 2:00 pm. For tickets, purchase them online.