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Never-Neverland Productions

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Intro - History




Intro to Never-Neverland

Welcome to Never-Neverland.

Never-Neverland Productions is the best in interactive theater.  Anyone can tryout for our plays or take our workshops. We have College Students, High School Students and Elementary School Students in our plays and you  are pulled on stage to be faeries or giant hamsters also. Our shows are audience interactive. You don't just view the show, you are a part of it.  Anyone and everyone can be a part of the action. Our plays are all inclusive.

Modern theater is a the result of a German Theater Critic During the Civil war which published articles about how people were to conduct themselves in a theater. You sit down, you are quite and you watch. Earlier versions of theater were more fun and there was interaction with audience.
Circuses were some of the first theaters in America. They would perform Oedipus Rex and Shakespeare. As theaters were built Circuses became the low form of entertainment, just for the kiddies.  We have attempted to bring back much of what has been lost. Modern theater is in competition with a new medium, the television. Television sometimes attempts to interact with it's audience in such programs as Blues Clues and Sesame Street with talking to the screen but lacks the one thing live theater can be. There in your face. It can be so real and there before you. You experience the full experience and take with you the experience as if you were there. With our interactions, theater is a new art form with this modern world.

Shakespeare, Comedy de Arts, Opera were considered low end entertainment at one time, just as Children's Theater is now. With true focus on the art and creating a genre new and unique. It has the potential of greatness and enriching everyone who participates. Children's theaters has no rules except moral conduct and is a true form for truly enlightened individuals who like a little slam stick, comedy, all forms of music, dance, mime, mask, puppets, role playing and cosplay with their value systems. 

Never-Neverland Productions

The children's theater  started to be a part of the Acting I class at Edison Community College. It's first production was Cinderella, Cinderella. The Director Matthew Williams was in this production as Prince Charming. Matt didn't come to be Director till January of 1999 with "Sleeping Beauty". Matt took the Directing Shakespeare class one of his class assignments was to direct a scene from "Hamlet". The bedroom scene where Hamlet is particularly cruel to his mother and slays Palonius. He Artistically Directed the children's show "Rupunzel". Dorcus Parson was the main Director. That was his first use of puppets. Snake puppets that came out into the audience. 

The Theater Productions continue on. They allow Matt to experiment and to grow as a director. "I learn everything that can go wrong and I also learn what not to do. This has been a chance to create something unique and special in our community. I have made mistakes but If I hadn't been allowed to make those mistakes this wouldn't be. This has been a learning and growing experience just as much for me as for the kids in my productions. "

How I started with Puppets.
Looking back on past pictures of myself I find that I have always been doing puppets. When I was ten I did "Rainbow Connection" With Kermit the Frog on my shoulder. I did a radio show for a school project were I used a Garfield puppet. I did a production of Rupunzel in a art class using hand puppets. I made a detachable hair braid for Rupunzel. As a child I used to have a doll Chicken named Chicky who went on adventures with me. When I got older I got too mature for that but I lost some joy. I lost a part of myself. As I have gotten older I don't have to be cool any more I have realized that being too old to play with dolls was stupid. Adults play too. I mean how really stupid it is to hit a small ball with a club on a field of Astroturf, Drinking Beer, and drive around on small cars. This behavior is considered by the business world as acceptable play. Or if you really think about it...watching grown men tackle each other for a ball...watching grown men hit each other. Oh that is really cool. Anything that adults do is not more mature just window dressed as so.  ...And I don't mean the other extreme either. I came across a web page with a grown man dressed as Peter Pan. He dressed like this to work...It was scary.
As an Adult I started using puppets in the productions to replace actors who didn't show up. The show must go on even if so and so didn't come because he didn't get off work. I started having puppets play some of the parts. Now I do puppet shows. Now I am a member of the Cincinnati Puppetry Guild. Now I collect Puppets. Now I modify and create Puppets. A natural progression-humm.

Why the Name Never-Neverland?
The Children's Theater under Matthew became known as "Never-Neverland Productions". The name was chosen to represent the spirit of youth and faerie wisdom. He wanted a Production company name that would follow him on what ever he worked on. So everything he did was connected.
Matthew also collects Children's Literature. He has a few old books in his collection. One of the books he has is a 1960's book called "Never-Neverland". This book describes a perfect world of Mother Goose. It is the perfect book. No violence. No bad guys. No Tribulation. No plot. It describes a perfect world in great detail. The only problem...If I read it to children or even to myself...It is boring! 
Never-Neverland was the original name for the faerie island where people never grow old. This name was used for Peter Pan by the author James M. Barrie. Peter Pan was originally written as a play and latter written as a book.

Children In the Cast
In January of 2000 most of our actors were elementary age. Piqua High School had tryouts for "Annie" and when children from Piqua Catholic showed up for the tryouts they were told that they could not participate or even tryout because they were not in Piqua City Schools. Many children were disappointed. One the mothers, Mrs. Gusching, asked if her children could tryout for the Children's Theater. We have had an open door policy ever since the founding of the theater. A few children had been in every production before this but this was a turning point, ever since it has been children's productions performed by mostly children for children with high school students and college students. 

The Wedding Play
In the Summer of 2000, Matthew and Ginger got married in the play "Reviving Cinderella" much like my hero Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. All were invited to the wedding. Even Matt's long lost friend Chicky.
The play of Reviving Cinderella was our own plight with self-esteem and society. Cinderella meets a Prince Charming who is preoccupied with himself and killing the local reluctant Dragon. He isn't in love with Cinderella but he is ready to marry her. She decides not to marry the Prince. She gets her own life and then when she is ready she introduces her self to the Narrator: "I'm Ginger Like the Spice". They go to the local festival and find they have much in common. The jealous prince who is upset not because she is with someone else but because she broke up with him, the prince, decides upon a course of revenge and religious piety. Cinderella over comes her family problems, a narcistical prince and in the end marries the Narrator. It was the blurring of the lines between reality and fantasy. A braking of modern conventions. We had the ceremony at Hayner-Cultural Center.  Major Jenkins of Troy pronounced us man and wife. 
Everyone should have a faerie tale wedding.

Starting to do this as a  business, I developed workshops for the local Arts Centers. A week long workshop where at the end of the week we perform for family and friends. The skits are taken directly from the text. The children learn acting, puppetry, use of props, vocabulary (I don't believe in dumbing down a piece of literature but educating.), memorization of lines and having fun. Sometimes we make props for the production. We play games that are theater related. These have been greatly enjoyed and have become popular at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center.

A new history to begin


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