The four massive sets constructed for the Brewery Arts Center's production of Peter Pan lay in disarray across the Community Center's stage Sunday like huge pieces of a jigsaw puzzle: a life-sized tree here, the wall to a nursery there. The pieces come together slowly thanks to the efforts of stagehands and technicians.
Peter Pan became author Sir James Matthew Barrie's greatest success despite the hefty technical requirements, like frequent scene changes, which are challenging to this day. It's these technical aspects: the sets, music, and lighting, that make up the complicated dance director Jeffry Scott calls a ballet behind the scenes. Two scene changes, according to Scott, present the biggest challenges.
"(During the first part of the play) the nursery must be moved out in 8-10 seconds," Scott said, noting the change will be done with no curtain, and no stagehands will be seen. At the end of the play when the pirate ship is exchanged for the nursery, stage hands have four to five minutes. But the sheer bulk of the sets make it a real challenge. Scott, who feels it is important to be involved in all aspects of production, is also technical and art director.
"It gives me the opportunity to inflict my vision on the whole production," Scott said with a smile, but he also readily admits that this is no one-man show. Due to its complexity, this is a production that requires real team work. He lauded cast and crew, and said the right combination of actors, technicians, artists, producers, and grants were critical.
The cast has been running through the complete performance for three weeks, which affords Scott an added luxury, the time to fine tune performances.
"That's where the magic of acting comes in. (Then) we can develop a real tie to the audience," Scott said, noting attention to detail at this point can create the dichotomy that marks a quality performance.
Eight performances are slated for September 8-10 and 15-17 at the Community Center. Tickets cost $16 for the general public, $12 for students and seniors, and $10 for BAC members and children. They can be purchased at the BAC, 449 W. King St. in Carson City, or reserved on a credit card by calling 883-1976.
Peter Pan has been funded in part by grants from the Nevada Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Nevada Bell Foundation, First Judicial District Bar Association, the Carson City Millennium Committee, the Carol Franc Buck Foundation, AT&T Media Services, and the Fred Meyer Foundation.