Current VPA News

Joseph Whelan

Journey to Neverland in the high-flying family musical "Peter Pan" this holiday season at Syracuse Stage and the Department of Drama. "All children, except one, grow up.” So begins the magical adventure that has been delighting youngsters (and oldsters) for more than 100 years. With such songs as “I'm Flying," “I Won't Grow Up," and “Never Never Land,” "Peter Pan" delivers a musical and adventurous treat for the holiday season. Paul Barnes (Irving Berlin’s "White Christmas," "The Miracle Worker") directs with choreography by Anthony Salatino.

"Peter Pan" performs Nov. 28-Jan. 3, 2016 in the Archbold Theatre at the Syracuse Stage/Drama Complex, 820 East Genesee St. The opening night performance is Friday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m. Tickets and information are available at, by phone at 315-443-3275, and in person at the Syracuse Stage Box Office (Mon-Fri, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and two hours before curtain in the evening and on weekends). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more at 315-443-9844. Discounts are also available for seniors, students, and U.S military personnel and veterans. Sign interpretation, open captioning, and audio description services are available for select performances.

The musical follows Peter Pan and Wendy Darling as they fly to Neverland to explore new and fantastical worlds. With Peter’s fearless sense of adventure and Wendy’s strong will and nurturing spirit, the pair battle against pirates and crocodiles and find themselves up against the evil villain Captain Hook. Add the mischievous Tinkerbell and her fairy magic, and the show has what director Paul Barnes called a trigger for the imagination of our childhood dreams of flying.

To bring the dream of flying to life, Stage will work with ZFX Flying Effects, a performer-flying-effects company based in Louisville, Kentucky. ZFX’s credits include major Broadway productions such as "The Wizard of Oz," "Tarzan," and "Peter Pan."

“I think it is going to be a great production that’s going to be fun from beginning to end,” said Barnes.

To create a more relatable 21st century rendition Barnes said he will be introducing Tiger Lily as the leader of a “troupe” of female warriors, inspired by the popular mythical aspects of J.R.R Tolkien’s novels "The Lord of the Rings."

The production also features a male Peter Pan, Department of Drama student Troy Hussmann '16, who appeared as Link Larkin in last season’s "Hairspray." Since Mary Martin originated the role on Broadway, a female actor has typically portrayed the role.

“When you cast a male as Peter, it brings more truthfulness to the relationship between Peter and Wendy,” said Barnes. “Troy not only has the requisite boyishness and 'Lord of the Flies'-like wild child in him, but also can sing the role beautifully.”

In all 25 Department of Drama students make up the cast working with professional Equity actors. This show represents the 17th co-production offered by Syracuse Stage and the College of Visual and Performing Arts' Department of Drama. The Stage/Drama co-productions started with a production of "Peter Pan" in the 2000-01 season. These co-production have become so popular with audiences and critics alike that they have become an annual tradition at Syracuse Stage.

During the runs of "Peter Pan" and "The Santaland Diaries" (The Storch Theatre, Dec. 9 – Jan. 3), Syracuse Stage will be collecting non-perishable food items for those in need and coats for students and families at Franklin Elementary School in Syracuse.