Unit 4 – Peter Pan

There are so many versions and adaptations of Peter Pan, a story conceived by J.M. Barrie beginning in 1904. Whether in books, on stage, or in film and TV productions, the tale of how the Darling children leave their nursery to visit Neverland has captured our imagination for more than a century. What is it about Peter Pan that makes him so extraordinary? This week, we explore the 1954 musical adaptation and how live theater makes a bigger-than-life story a truly magical experience.

Magical, Musical Monday (Day One)

1. Introduction to Peter Pan
Have you ever met anyone who is “larger than life”? Ms. Bridie discusses her love for this musical, and asks what fascinates us most about the main character. She encourages us to watch two clips of the song “I’m Flying,” the first from a 1960 TV broadcast of Peter Pan featuring iconic Broadway performer Mary Martin, and another featuring gymnast Cathy Rigby in a 2000 stage production.

2. Watch: Mary Martin performs the song “I’m Flying” in a 1960 TV performance

3. Watch: Cathy Rigby performs the song “I’m Flying” during a 2000 stage performance

4. Learn the Song: “I’m Flying”
Learn to fly: “I can soar, I can weave…”

5. Learn the Song: “I Won’t Grow Up”
Peter Pan refuses to grow up. Find out how with Ms. Bridie.

6. Discuss: Childhood and Growing Up 
Why doesn’t Peter want to grow up? What are the best things about being a kid? Explore this with Ms. Bridie, then watch the song performed in a recent TV adaptation.

7. Watch: Allison Williams sings “I Won’t Grow Up”
Presented in 2014 as Peter Pan LIVE!, the production included Broadway veterans and in a featured role, Christopher Walken as Captain Hook! Also includes clips from other film adaptations!

8. Rehearse: This Week’s Goodbye Song – Our goodbye song is inspired by the pirates of Neverland and follows the melody of “Captain Hook’s Waltz,” which we will learn later this week!

Day Two

You’re Invited! Become a member of our Facebook Group and post your baby photo, share a rehearsal video for one of our songs, and tell us what you are thinking about Peter Pan!

Making Magic with KIDS LOVE MUSICALS! – Join Group
Private group · 328 members
During this uncertain time, The Musical Theater Project’s KIDS LOVE MUSICALS! program is here to spread some joy! We’re here to support teachers, par…

Wild, Whimsical Wednesday
(Day Three)

Imagination, Fantasy and Design
Ms. Jodi sings a verse from the song “Neverland,” imagining a place “where dreams are born and time is never planned.” She defines the word “paradox,” and explains how designers and performers interpret and expand the experience of storytelling in a LIVE theater setting. She invites everyone to meet two new friends: scenic and lighting designer Ben Needham and Broadway actress Haley Podschun. But first, we’ll practice the song “I’m Flying” again with Ms. Bridie!

1. Discuss: A Place Where Dreams Are Born

2. Rehearse: “I’m Flying”

3. Watch: An Interview with Scenic Designer Ben Needham

Click below to see some of Ben’s designs for Peter Pan.

4. Watch: An Interview with Broadway actress Hayley Podschun

5. Watch: An Interview with musical theater’s first Peter Pan

6. Imagine: Create A New World!
Ms. Jodi returns with an exciting design challenge and more writing activities. She invites us to sing our good-bye song together, and is excited to explore Captain Hook on Friday!

7. ​Journaling and Writing Activities
During this time, it’s important to find different ways to express what we feel and think. Click on this PDF for ways to promote written reflection about the themes and characters of Peter Pan.

Day Four

Fabulous, Fun Friday – Day Five

1. Blimey, Slimy Captain Hook!
Welcome back! After exploring Neverland more fully, Ms. Jodi introduces Peter Pan‘s iconic antagonist, Captain Hook, who is proud to proclaim himself “the swiniest swine in world.” 

2. Watch:
Check out this performance of “Captain Hook’s Waltz” featuring Cyril Richards from the 1960 televised adaptation.

3. Watch: 
Watch Paul Schoeffler perform the same role in the 2000 national tour.

4. Learn the Song: “Captain Hook’s Waltz”
Grab your pirate gear and learn the words to the song with Ms. Bridie. Rehearse the song’s pirate choreography with our special guest, Pirate Matt!

5. Playtime: “Sunken Treasure!”
Play with fun pirate activities including making maps to go on a fantastic Treasure Hunt! They also discuss how to be confident and proud of your accomplishments.

6. Bonus Video: Ms. Bridie sings the song “Neverland.” 

7. Playtime with Peter Pan!
Finish the week with ideas for writing a lullaby, creating a treasure map, and playing a shadowing game,  “Captain on Deck!” and “Captain Says.”

8. Bonus Video: Listen to Peter Pan‘s choreographer Jerome Robbins talk about his artistic process, working with dancers, and how he connects music with movement.

Final Message

Visit the Peanuts gang with another exciting lesson plan!

Our next musical:

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

available May 4th