On June 27, 28 or 29, Van Wert Civic Theatre audience members will
have an exciting opportunity to relive their childhood imaginations at
the Summer Youth Theatre production of Disney’s Peter Pan, JR.
iconic character of Peter Pan, brought to life by J.M. Barrie’s classic
book, dives deep into the power and purpose of the imagination,
especially from the perspective of children.
allows us to play; to think of situations (possibly real or completely
imagined) in a vivid, larger than life way. While at the time, it seems
entirely for the sake of fun. Developing our imaginations helps us to
become better thinkers and prepares us for decision-making. We test and
make assumptions about how others and we will respond.
A major venue for the explorations of our imagination is through art.
If you knew me as a child, it was no secret; I loved art. More
specifically, I loved to draw.
With my pencil and scrap dot-matrix
computer paper in hand, I sang: “Sharpen your pencil, grab some paper!
Get ready… it’s almost time. Mark will show you how to get on the paper
what’s in your mind! A rocket ship, a pair of shoes, a shooting star,
and some kangaroos… on the Imagination Station.”
It’s the lyrics
to Mark Kistler’s Imagination Station, a television program originally
produced by PBS beginning in 1996 (preceded by Draw Squad in 1991 and
Secret City in 1986). Mark Kistler brought three-dimensional drawing
lessons to children through his television programs, countless books,
and tours to schools and libraries across the country.
sixth grade, at the late Washington Elementary School, Mark Kistler
visited my classmates and me. He wore a bright yellow jumpsuit with
black straps on his waist, ankles, and wrists. His hair was in tight
curls, and he had a thick black mustache. Markers were affixed to his
suit, which proceeded down his shoulders and arms. He was so vivid as he
sincerely spoke about the power of drawing in expressing the
About halfway through his demonstration, as the entire school watched, he asked for a volunteer from the audience.
he scanned the crowd, I extended my chubby little arm as I high as I
could (aided by a slight elevation of my rear), and a facial expression,
which read, “Please, please, please pick me. My life is completely
dependent upon this single childhood experience.”
stopped scanning the crowd. His eyes stopped and stared at… the student
next to me. I didn’t skip a beat, though. I got up and ran to the front
of the auditorium before he could correct me.
That is correct. I
stole the limelight, but for good reason. Expressing my imagination
through drawing was a huge part of my identity (it still is). My hobby
is my imagination, my creative thinking, a key component of a childhood
mindset. In that way, I’m just like Peter Pan; I’ll never grow-up - just
It is possible to be a “grown-up in sheep’s clothing.” I
am not suggesting anyone go to the extremes of Peter Pan, by refusing
the responsibilities that come with being an adult, but it is possible
and encouraged to let your imagination wander and still get all those
adult things done.
I invite you to rekindle a particular aspect of
your childhood by attending the VWCT Summer Youth Theatre’s production
of Disney’s Peter Pan, JR., June 27, 28, & 29. Tickets are $10 at
the door and reservations can be made starting June 23, from 2 to 6
p.m., by calling (419) 238-9689. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m.,
and the Sunday matinee begins at 2 p.m.
See you at the show!