Regina theatre group rids racism from classic tale (Global TV News)

REGINA – A Scottish accent is not something you would expect to find in Peter Pan, but then again, this is not your traditional story.

Do it with Class is performing a version of the classic that will not include traditional First Nations characters.

“There’s some stuff in there (the original) that’s not entirely acceptable, in fact not at all acceptable,” explained artistic director Rob Ursan.

Global news - Peter Pan - March 22
In fact, the colonial descriptions of Aboriginal people caused him to rewrite the entire script, adding his own Scottish touches.

One of the young actresses, Kayla Weir, said the audience will be in for a surprise, but is hopeful they respond well.

“This is cool, this is different, this is a good way to put it. This is a new story line, it kind of changes it up a little bit,” she said.

Her character is replacing the traditional Tiger Lily.

“Tiger Lily in other versions and films, she was kind of just the princess in the First Nation tribe and always just stuck with her tribe.”

Oppositely, Weir’s character is tough and has a mind of her own, much like her tribe leader, Boudicca.

Historically, Boudicca was known as the only British ruler to beat back the Roman invasion.

Sheriton Smith will play the legendary leader. She said it is a bonus if people come into the show knowing about the historical significance, but it is not necessary to appreciate the play.

“You don’t need to know that background to see how powerful and strong our tribe is,” she said.

Smith appreciated the new script: “It makes it easier for us to portray the characters and not have to worry about offending anyone.”

Ursan, meanwhile, is hopeful that the audience understands the reason behind the changes, but added theatre is all about surprises.

“Learning to go to the theatre is about going in with expectations, and having those expectations blown away.”

Peter Pan runs March 31st and April 1st at the Conexus Arts Centre