On being Peter Pan

Karen Knox playing Peter Pan bows on stage in 2007
Photo Credit

Originally published August 18, 2017

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Although Theatre Orangeville’s Peter in the upcoming performance of Peter Pan (August 25-27) is being played by Daniel Lemesurier, there is a long standing tradition in the theatrical world to have a young woman play the role of the Neverland Boy King. From Mary Martin to Mia Farrow, and a little lesser known, the fifteen-year-old me.

Over a decade ago Pablo Felices-Luna directed me in Theatre Orangeville Young Company's production of Peter Pan. As a newly minted teenager the pressures of adolescence had come crashing into my world, but for one final summer I was given the keys to Neverland.

Instead of spending a summer reading magazines by a pool worrying about chatting with my crush on MSN Messenger (there's a nostalgic throw back for all you born-in-the-early- 90's babies) I spent it singing, sword fighting with pirates, and learning how to fly.

As Peter, there were no limitations, I did as I pleased and played by my own set of rules. It was a formative experience as a young woman who grew up surrounded by brothers, and a defining moment in my career as an artist. Theatre Orangeville gave me the opportunity to see a future wherein I could continue to play and create joy. After that summer, I knew I wanted to be an actor forever, because in some ways it meant I would never, have to grow up.

Karen Knox

Karen Knox last appeared on the Theatre Orangeville stage as Dee in Stag and Doe.

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