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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
Everyone should have a faerie
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