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Peter Pan adaptation to show for college crowd

By Sammie Miller
On April 28, 2014

Miami graduate student Laura Ferdinand, in combining history and theater, has single-handedly created a new adaptation of an old favorite - the classic play, "Peter Pan," over the past year and a half.

The show premieres tomorrow night and its 10 cast members have been working around the clock for the past four weeks. But for Ferdinand, the journey to this upcoming performance started 18 months ago.

Ferdinand is directing the upcoming performance. She created the adaptation of an entirely new script for "Peter Pan" through extensive research about the original playwright, James Barrie, over the past year and a half.

"I traveled all the way to Scotland and England where Barrie wrote the original version of 'Peter Pan,'" Ferdinand said. "It was extremely inspiring to feel that connected to the original places that he once felt inspired by."

She combined a collection of Barrie's interviews, speeches and diary entries and incorporated them into the original version of the play.

Ferdinand described her adaptation as a grown-up version of "Peter Pan."

"It's appropriate for children of course, but is most definitely targeted at a college audience," she said.

This new take on the classic has the student body excited.

"I'm really excited to see this version of my all time favorite play," sophomore Alexa Berry said. "Even though I grew up being obsessed with the movie and play I don't know that much about the history."

For the past month, the actors have been required to attend daily four-hour practices.

At the daily rehearsals, the magic is in the air as the actors warm up their voices, exercising their vocal chords in perfect harmony.

Music blares and they move around the makeshift stage getting excited for the evening's practice.

Tamara Ljubibratic, a junior theater major, will play Tinkerbell in the upcoming performance.

"It is extremely exciting for me to be a part of this production," Ljubibratic said. "Growing up I felt so connected to the characters and the story of 'Peter Pan' and it's amazing now being able to be a part of the story."

Lauren Kammerling, one of two first-year actors participating in the cast feels a similar connection to the play.

"I actually played in 'Peter Pan' in high school," Kammerling said. "I love the musical version of 'Peter Pan,' but Laura's version is absolutely beautiful and has given me an even more special connection with the plays by incorporating the story's history and Barrie's point of view."

From the script, to the set, to the costumes, everything about Ferdinand's adaptation is meant to be authentic to the original story of "Peter Pan."

"The costumes are much more realistic than the more theatrical looks used in other adaptations," Kammerling said. "For example, the costumes made for the Lost Boys are what they actually would have worn during that time period."

The set is simplistic, yet beautiful and embodies the transformational themes of Ferdinand's adaptation.

As the course of the play goes on, the set breaks apart in different ways that is sure to leave the audience on the edge of their seats.

As Ferdinand puts it, the show is sure to entertain any "Peter Pan" or general theater enthusiasts and will be chalk full of surprises.

The production will open 7:30 p.m. April 30 at the Studio 88 stage in the Center of Performing Arts.

Tickets are on sale at The Shriver Box Office, $7 students, $8 seniors, $10 adults.

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