Andrea DeMeer                                Taylor Hornslien, Josh Herzog, Jordyn Bzdel and Abby Fulton are deserving of their roles in Peter Pan.

Andrea DeMeer Taylor Hornslien, Josh Herzog, Jordyn Bzdel and Abby Fulton are deserving of their roles in Peter Pan.

Theatre group introduces dignity to Peter Pan

Grab a happy thought and off you go to enjoy some Princeton theatre

Since he first appeared on London’s stage, two days after Christmas in 1904, Peter Pan has flown into the hearts of children around the world and rose to the heights of cultural icon.

Later adapted into books and numerous film interpretations the story of the “boy who never grows up” is cherished by each generation.

However the task of bringing Pan alive behind the footlights today is not so simple.

The original treatment of Native Americans in novels and scripts – the most well-known perhaps being the abominably racist Disney feature cartoon in 1954 – is a showstopper.

Even some scrubbed or otherwise sanitized versions of the play miss the mark for wholesome family entertainment.

And so it was, when Princeton’s Heather Anderson chose to direct Peter Pan as the Christmas performance for Crimson Tine Theatre group, there was an opportunity for thoughtful choices.

Some of the language “well, it really wasn’t appropriate,” said Anderson.

Enter members of the Upper Similkameen Indian Band, who consulted on, wrote and eventually performed in the interactions involving natives in this traditional classic.

Nineteen-year-old Kassandra Skillings created a second-act scene that incorporates authentic clothing and traditional dance, and she performs as Mother Morning Cloud.

“It was really important to me when I heard about Peter Pan that the native scenes be played by our people,” said Skillings.

She said she used “my own experiences” to script the dialogue between a grateful parent and her daughter, Tiger Lily played by Mia Holmes.

In other respects Peter Pan as performed for Princeton sticks fairly close to the story the audience will remember.

Wendy doesn’t want to leave the nursery, Pan and Tinkerbell show up looking for Peter’s shadow and the whole family eventually jumps out the window on the way to Neverland.

The production’s leading actors are worthy of their roles.

Abby Fulton, as Wendy Darling, is remarkably composed. Her character seems to step right off a Hollywood storyboard and that illusion is not harmed by the actress’ marked resemblance to a young Keira Knightley.

Jordyn Bzdel takes on the demanding role of Peter Pan, and she brings the energy of a gymnast to the character. Her Pan is engaging, mischievous and lots of fun to follow.

However if there is a character that can make or break a production of Peter Pan it’s Tinkerbell. (Just ask Julia Roberts.)

Taylor Hornslien, only nine-years-old, simply sparkles on stage. She consistently does the job that Tinkerbell is supposed to do – that is to steal each scene where she has only a small part and is, after all, only a very small fairy.

There are some genuine laugh-out-loud moments in this presentation and many of them belong to those two infamous swashbucklers, Captain Hook and Smee, played respectively by Josh Herzog and Dick Bird.

Herzog’s natural bluster and confidence make him the perfect choice for such a villain. Bird’s maturity and timing help hold the quick-moving action together in the second act.

Of course there are more fairies and pirates, lost boys and mermaids – all doing adorable jobs.

With at least 25 child actors and more than a dozen musical numbers in the production Anderson can be credited with both courage and patience.

“It is a little like organized chaos,” Anderson admitted. “There’s just this energy level and all this noise and I just have to suck it up.”

Anderson makes clever decisions with audience interaction, and uses the entire theatre space to the cast’s best advantage.

Deserving of special recognition behind the scenes is Emily Bain-Herzog, producer and the wizard who created the show’s spectacular costumes.

The backdrops and sets are stunning and creative – as they always are in a Crimson Tine production. In some instances with this show however that rubs against the players as the moving of elaborate scenery and props between scenes is time consuming and distracting.

You will enjoy Crimson Tine Players’ Peter Pan. Grab a happy thought and get your tickets.

There are four evening shows, November 24 and 25 and December 1 and 2. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and curtain is at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $5 for children, $10 for students and seniors, $15 for adults and families may attend for $40.

A December 2 matinee is scheduled for 2 p.m., doors open at 1:30 p.m. and tickets are $5.

Cast and crew members not previously noted are Shaelin Tomusiak, Aaliyah Holmes, Nathan Anderson, Mya Robbins, Carrie McIvor, Noelle Roccamatisi, Dianne Rainer, Erika Carter, Lacey Baird, Karen Fulton, Marcus Fulton, Polly Carter, Tairyn Legge, Jasmin Peters, Brooklyn Cox, Rose Carter, Dayton Wales, Grace Scollon, Colton Callihoo, Olivia Holloway, PattyAnn Peal, Andrew Carter, Deacon Holloway and Caprice Roccamatisi.

To report a typo, email:

Like us on Facebook.


Kassandra Skillings wrote the native scenes in Crimson Tine Players’ adaptation of Peter Pan, and plays the role of Mother Morning Cloud.

Kassandra Skillings wrote the native scenes in Crimson Tine Players’ adaptation of Peter Pan, and plays the role of Mother Morning Cloud.

Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Most Read