DALLAS — Peter Pan may be flying back to Broadway once again, this time in a new musical titled “Fly.” And among its cast is 12-year old Campbell Walker Fields, a seventh grader who attends the Classen School of Advanced Studies.
In this Dallas Theater Center production, Fields is cast as one of the Lost Boys, a band of wisecracking orphans that sets off in search of adventure with their pal Peter Pan. They find plenty of thrills when the scheming Captain Hook and his band of pirates invade Neverland.
“Fly” features a book by Rajiv Joseph, music by Bill Sherman and lyrics by Kirsten Childs and Joseph. Based on the popular novel by James M. Barrie, “Fly” re-examines the familiar story about the boy who refused to grow up but approaches the tale primarily from Wendy's viewpoint. A driving pop/rock score and some spectacular visuals by Anna Louizos give the production a contemporary sensibility.
Despite his young age, Fields is a theater veteran who has appeared as the Artful Dodger in the Lyric Theatre production of “Oliver!” and as JoJo in the University of Oklahoma production of “Seussical.” He's also been cast as Jack in “Into the Woods” and as the Rum Tum Tugger in “Cats,” both Lyric Academy productions.
Fields was one of approximately 100 kids who auditioned for “Fly,” only eight of whom were cast. The company spent four weeks in rehearsals in late May and early June. “Fly” began previews July 2, opened 10 days later and will run through Aug. 18.
Any new musical is a work in progress, which means a cast is subjected to frequent script revisions, new music and changes in choreography. And while the Lost Boys weren't subjected to radical plot changes, these young actors were exposed to the familiar idea that musicals aren't written but rewritten.
“This is a completely new show so there were lots of things that were changed every day,” Fields said recently. “One day, they choreographed a whole new number and then decided not to use it. We ended up going back to the old one. It's also a very complicated technical show.”