By Christopher Squier, email@example.com
The Neverland Players, a Grinnell College theater troupe known for their lively shows and youthful energy, once again masterfully transformed a number of children’s stories into fun-filled and hilarious skits for their performances last week in the Wall Theatre.
Originally, young authors at Davis Elementary School write creative and affecting stories before submitting them to thespian College performers for their transfiguration into short skits.
This semester’s shows were endearing and magical, full of punnery and honesty. Thirteen stories in total were performed, each on a different theme of the struggles and joys of youth, performed in front of the classic purple Neverland curtain. Untied shoes were a common theme.
Neverland hit it off with their first piece, Emma Lang’s “Walrus and Sock,” in which a young walrus agonized over the terror involved in getting dressed and preparing for school. Through the advice of a sock, however, the walrus summoned the confidence to head to school and make new friends.
One of the highlights was “Make a Splash, Izzie.” A young and unusually morose dolphin, or perhaps porpoise—the abundance of sea creature puns left one unsure—had never made a splash. Once the investigating and eccentrically British scientist tuned his language dial to dolphin, all became immediately and tragically apparent. The dolphin, played by Gabriel Lehman ’16, simply could not make a splash, alas. He had lived much of his life being bullied as a result, with few friends and rather embarrassed by his predicament; however, through the assistance of the scientist, a lot of practice bobbing around stage and polite conversation he was suddenly cured.
Natalie Montgomery, who attended the performance, crafted another excellent plotline with her story “Taco,” created on the premise that a taco was having friendship problems. Luckily, the perfect friend, a mime, appeared while the taco wandered about the local park. The two proceeded to continue wandering about the park, making more and more friends and helping others out.
Amanda Borson ’13 put on two of the best performances in her roles as both a fast-talking rodent comedian and a singing, jumping and all-around attention-needy diva.
Phoebe Mogharei ’16 stole the show as the sparkly princess Selena in “Selena and the Troll,” fluttering about stage, batting her eyelashes and lamenting the loss of her dear unicorn named Glitter.
In addition, Meghan McDermott ’16 played an excellent dog sleuth, while Dylan Bondy ’16 gave each one of his characters a hilarious twist.
The performances concluded with Emma Cutchins’ story “Boot Camp.” Two warring summer camps faced off in a deadly prank-duel, only to be brought back together as friends by the search to recover one of their lost campmates.
Overall, Neverland performance was a heartwarming and touching display of childhood enthusiasm and infective hilarity.