Preview: Borne Into the Clouds combines meaningful topics

Cleo Falvey, Arts Managing Editor

2017’s Emerson play, Borne Into the Clouds, is written and directed by seniors Oceanne Fry and Sam Pollak. The play centers around a combination of two topics: J.M. Barrie’s iconic play, Peter Pan, and the HIV/AIDS crisis.

The play centers around the main character, Peter, who is dying of AIDS in a hospital. Characters from the original Peter Pan are present, though rechristened: Tinkerbell as a nurse, the Crocodile as a timekeeper and Wendy, Michael and John as Peter’s friends in the hospital.

Pollak said that his conceptualization of the play began in his freshman year of high school.

“It’s been brewing for awhile,” Pollak said. “I was inspired by both Peter Pan and the AIDS epidemic separately, and we just merged those together.”

Fry said that her love of Peter Pan as a child inspired the play, along with her view of theater as a way to express tough historical concepts.

Junior Jacob Zachary-Flanders and sophomore Eva Stanley play Peter and Neville respectively in Borne into the Clouds. The production is based off of J.M. Barrie’s classic play Peter Pan. LAUREN MAHONEY / SAGAMORE STAFF

“I’m very interested in using theater to look at dark times in history that people don’t think about,” Fry said.

According to Pollak, he aims to use Peter Pan to talk about the HIV/AIDS epidemic specifically, because of his personal connection to the issue.

“As a gay person, it is really close to me because such a devastating thing happened to my community,” Pollak said.

Sophomore Eva Stanley, who plays Neville, Peter’s guardian angel, hopes the play starts conversations about the LGBTQ community.

“I hope the audience gains a little more awareness for our community and how far we’ve come and what we have to work on as an LGBT community,” Stanley said.

Fry said that the play should raise awareness about topics that are not taught in history classes.

“[There should be] awareness that what we’re being taught in history isn’t representative of every community, in the world or in America, and people realizing that there’s more we should be learning about in our History classes,” Fry said.

Borne into the Clouds debuts Friday, January 20 at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the Black Box.