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Peter Pan in the Big Apple

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Nicholas Linnehan
March 10, 2013

What is your job on this show?
playwright-book.

What is your show about?
A modern musical adaptation of this classic asks us to find out where Neverland is for each of us.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
When I was young I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. As such, sports weren't a good fit for me. I felt very isolated until I got on stage and realized that my disability didn't hold me back from doing this. This was the first time I felt "alive" and "normal". I was so relieved to feel a part of something and a valuable contributor. This happened in seventh grade and I knew then that this was the place for me. Imagination knows no disability.

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
I love the immediacy of theater. You get instant feedback from the audience, which fuels your work. I like seeing the change in people at the beginning of a show and at the end of a show. If we do our job right, the audience will have had an experience and the change from before and after will be visible.

What is one specific thing that you hope audiences will realize you’ve contributed to the production?
First of all, I hope the audience will have had a really good time and have been entertained. Then, I hope, they will see people with disabilities in a new light. By having disabled actors in my show, I aim to show people that the disabled don't always have to be on the "receiving" end of things. But that we can give and provide for others.

Which famous person would you most like to get a fan letter from: Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, Steven Spielberg, Philip Seymour Hoffman?
Honestly, any of those would be amazing. But I LOVE Meryl Streep. I think she is one of the best actors of our time and to have her recognition would be heavenly. So, Meryl if you're reading this hit me up:)

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
Theater, like any other art, should bring about change. Every play deals with conflict. And in that conflict are issues that are relevant. We do theater to convey the human condition in all its facets. How can that NOT bring about change?