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Les Waters

Playwrights: The Christians, For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday, Doris to Darlene. Les is an Obie Award-winning director. From 2012 to 2018, he served as artistic director of Actors Theatre of Louisville, where he directed the premiere of Lucas Hnath’s The Thin Place, The Christians, and other new works by Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas, Sarah Ruhl, Anne Washburn and Dave Malloy, Will Eno, Charles Mee, and Mark Schultz. In 2009, he made his Broadway debut with Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room (or the vibrator play). In the last ten years, his productions have ranked among the year’s best in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Time Magazine, The Guardian, Time Out New York, and USA Today. In New York, his productions have been seen at BAM, Classic Stage Company, Second Stage, The Connelly Theater, Signature, Soho Rep., The Public, and Manhattan Theatre Club. Regional credits include productions at Berkeley Rep, Huntington, La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Kirk Douglas Theatre, ART, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf, Yale Rep, and American Conservatory Theater. 

Updated 11/14/19

Reviews

Playwrights' Perspectives

Playwright's Perspective: For Peter Pan

I wrote 'For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday' as a gift for my mother (for her seventieth birthday). My mother grew up playing Peter Pan in Davenport, Iowa. As a child I looked at pictures scattered around my grandparents’ house of my mother wearing green tights and flying.

Essay

From the Artistic Director: For Peter Pan

Commentators have long noted the dark undercurrents of Peter Pan: the boy who wouldn’t grow up, whose shadow is cut from his body, the island of lost boys, the Freudian pairing of Father with Dr. Hook, the death and resurrection of Tinkerbell. Of course these dark elements are more than matched by Peter Pan’s underlying quest for transfiguration.

Essay

The American Voice: The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up

When he first flew into the bedroom of the sleeping Darling children in 1904, Peter Pan made an entrance not just onto the stage of London’s Duke of York Theatre but, indelibly, into the popular imagination. In conceiving this “Boy Who Would Not Grow Up,” J.M. Barrie invented a new myth, one that’s permeated our cultural psyche.