She might but tiny, but PBT’s Tinker Bell packs a larger-than-life personality. Here, three PBT ballerinas – JoAnna Schmidt, Caitlin Peabody and Gabrielle Thurlow (left to right below) – share their take on Tink and the timeless story of Peter Pan. Find out when they – and your other favorite dancers – will be performing here!
What’s your favorite thing about this ballet?
JoAnna Schmidt: I like when Tinker Bell finds the shadow. The whole concept of losing your shadow is so imaginative and fun.
Caitlin Peabody: Truly my favorite thing about this ballet is working with Jorden Morris again. He’s been such a great coach to me in my career and through that has become a wonderful friend. Him being in the studio coaching me – it gives me so much fresh energy!
Gabrielle Thurlow: I really like the beginning scenes with Peter and Tink and her interactions with the shadow. I think it creates such a fun character for Tinker Bell and the interaction between Tink and Peter is really fun. We really like each other, but they kind of have that brother-sister feel. I grew up with an older brother and he was always bothering me. It has that sibling vibe and that’s really fun to do onstage as well.
What makes the story of Peter Pan timeless?
JoAnna: Nobody wants to grow up, so the idea of finding a place where you never have to is a fantasy everyone shares, I think!
Caitlin: Something about a nursery and kids playing and believing in something is beautiful. We all remember that feeling. It’s warm and fuzzy, and who doesn’t want to feel warm and fuzzy?
Gabrielle: It has a lot of interesting elements. There’s humor and a lot of touching moments as well. It has the timeless story of – Wendy and Peter want to be together but their worlds are so different. It’s almost the Romeo and Juliet type theme. These two people want to be together but yet their worlds don’t allow them to be. That’s a story that’s been heard time and time again but just in different ways.
What’s your happy thought (the thing that would give you wings if sprinkled with fairy dust)?
JoAnna: I would say the people close to me, who love and support me, is what gives me wings!
Caitlin: My happy thought is my backyard in New Hampshire – with family around and the smell of fresh grass.
Gabrielle: “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl. I like it because…it’s the whole beauty comes from the inside type thing. Happiness comes out of you and radiates. I think that’s contagious…people want to be around you.
What is it like to “fly” or what do you think it will feel like to fly?
JoAnna: We haven’t practiced flying yet, but I have a feeling that, when we do, I won’t want to come down!
Caitlin: Flying is SO much fun. I danced Tink last time and got my flying game on! It’s a feeling of complete weightlessness and calm.
Gabrielle: This is my first time. I’m not sure what to expect…but luckily we have a flying crew that has flown many stars and know what they’re doing! I’ll be doing back flips, so I can’t wait to see how that’s going to feel!
What’s the most fun thing about portraying a fairy, and such a spunky one at that?
JoAnna: Tinker Bell’s emotions are very black and white, which is fun to portray. One second she’s happy and then the next second she’s furious!
Caitlin: What I love about Tink is how many different ways she can be portrayed. Everyone has a different personality on it. She’s feisty and silly, but so lovable and sweet at the same time. It’s nice to find that joy inside of you and go through a rehearsal from that. It’s easy to become her once you let yourself.
Gabrielle: There are parts of it where she gets really mad at Peter. You’re borderline having a tantrum onstage. It’s actually really fun to do – to get really mad and get really happy and just go opposite ends of the spectrum all in one show. It’s just very entertaining.
JoAnna: I am probably the complete opposite of Tinker Bell in real life. I’m not spunky at all, so that might make my interpretation a little different.
Caitlin: I’d say I’m a strong, independent kind of Tink. But I let some silly girly moments happen as well.
Gabrielle: Tinker Bell’s really feisty and, as Jorden would say, fairies only have one emotion at a time. You go from being really mad to really happy. I don’t know that I’m necessarily like that myself, but I am really energetic as is Tinker Bell. I kind of put that into the character.
Photos by: Aimee DiAndrea; Artists: Caitlin Peabody, Gabrielle Thurlow, JoAnna Schmidt
Peter Pan – Feb. 12-21, 2016
www.pbt.org // 412-456-6666
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