Photo by Hayden Merrill.
The Beale Street Theater has put in the work, and they are set to open their long anticipated production of “Peter Pan” tonight.
With over 50 cast members in the production, “Peter Pan” is one of the biggest productions ever tackled by the newly formed theater company.
The Beale Street Theater began as a concept in early 2016 by founders Sara Peterson and Kristina Michelson.
“We just thought ‘Kingman needs more arts and culture, what can we do about that?’” Michelson said.
This thought would eventually turn into the decision to start a local nonprofit theater company that would bring the entire community together.
“There have been so many people eager to come help,” Michelson said.
Michelson said that one of the first major steps that the Beale Street Theater needed to do was apply to become a nonprofit organization. This would allow them to receive donations from the public, as well as receive government grants. The company then turned its attention to acquiring a space to rehearse and perform their productions.
They found the State Theater downtown, and it was exactly what they were looking for. The theater is located at 304 Beale Street and plans to remodel the historic space are already in progress.
“The structure is in very good shape for its age,” Michelson said. “Electrical and plumbing will need to be redone, but we have taken steps to work on grant requests to get the work going.”
The first major production taken on by the Beale Street Theater was the musical adaptation of “Scrooge” back in December. This production opened the doors to allow future shows for the company and community.
“After we did ‘Scrooge,’ we wanted to look at where we wanted to go as a theater, what kind of projects we wanted to do,” Michelson said.
Matt Hecht, a participant of the Beale Street Theater from the very first production, suggested that the theater do one of the most well-known shows of all time.
“Personally I’ve loved ‘Peter Pan’ since I was a kid,” Hecht said.
Hecht said that the Beale Street Theater was looking for a show that could involve as many people in the community, and “Peter Pan” did just that. The production utilizes about 20 production staff members in addition to the 50 cast members.
“We really wanted to find a show that resonated with a lot of people, that people could really rally behind,” Hecht said. “We wanted to get a mix of all ages, we wanted this to be a family show.”
The Beale Street Theater has also enlisted the help of a Las Vegas -based company who specialize in rigging, to allow six different actors to fly on stage throughout the show.
“I really wanted to see Peter Pan fly, it’s iconic,” Hecht said.
Flying by Foy has helped with onstage flying rigs and techniques for a multitude of different productions. From international pop star concerts, to major Broadway successes, they have done it all.
Hecht wants this production of “Peter Pan” to get the entire community excited, as well as show what the Beale Street Theater is capable of.
“We’ve been hungering for this kind of thing,” Hecht said. “We want people to see what caliber of group we are to drum up participation and get people excited for the theater.”
Excited is just the word to describe how the massive team putting together “Peter Pan” feels about opening this production.
“People will see parts of ‘Peter Pan’ in this show that they’ve never seen in other productions,” Michelson said. “It’s a big project.”
“Peter Pan” is set to perform June 9-10 and 16-17 at the Kingman High School auditorium. Performances start at 7 p.m., with two additional performances on June 10 and 17 starting at 1 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for children aged 4-11. They can be purchased at the door or on the Beale Street Theater’s website, bealestreettheater.com.