For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday

For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday

by  Sarah Ruhl

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  4m, 2f

A loving look at a family's view of death, life, and and the allure of never growing up.
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For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday

by  Sarah Ruhl

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 2f
  • Duration


    90 minutes
  • SubGenre


    Adaptations (Literature)
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior

Additional Info

When Ann thinks of her father, she immediately remembers playing Peter Pan in her hometown theater in Iowa, particularly when he used to bring her flowers after her performance. Her memory is jogged by the fact that she and her four siblings are in their father’s hospital room during his final moments. His death sparks a conversational wake that includes everything from arguments over politics to when each sibling realized that they grew up. A loving look at a family’s view of death, life, and the allure of never growing up.
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"There is an intrinsic lyricism to Ruhl’s ideas as well as her language in this work [...] Ruhl’s writing also gives voice to a binding love between siblings that overcomes conflicting beliefs." - The Courier-Journal, Read More 

"A work that is equal parts dark and light, recalling the ebullient excitement of youth, but also confronting the hard fact of mortality […] Ruhl’s imagination is among the most adventurous at play today in the theater." - The New York Times

"Sarah Ruhl imbues the fantastical with a singular logic that is only hers but becomes yours during the course of the evening.  She gives a map to a kind of preternatural joy; only when the curtain comes down do you remember that we cannot fly, time travel, or conjure our departed loved ones." - Mary-Louise Parker

"Having For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday to transport me back to my childhood now that ‘no one is standing sentry between (me) and death’ is a gift for which I lack adequate words to thank the playwright who wrote it for me." - Kathleen Kehoe Ruhl (the playwright’s mother)


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  • For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday at Actors Theatre of Louisville
  • Director Les Waters on For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday
  • Actress Kathleen Chalfant on For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday
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Performing Groups

  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre


  • Caution Flying Flying

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $125 per performance



  • Time Period: 1990s
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: Sometime in the Clinton era. And in the land of memory. And Neverland, which has no time.
  • Additional Features: Animal spot, No intermission, Special Effects


4m, 2f
1, ANN - between 60 and 70. Plays Peter Pan.
2, JOHN - in his late 60s. Plays John in Peter Pan.
3, JIM - in his mid-sixties. Plays Captain James Hook in Peter Pan.
4, MICHAEL - in his early sixties. Plays Michael in Peter Pan.
5, WENDY -  in her late fifties. Plays Wendy in Peter Pan.
GEORGE - in his eighties. In part 1 a dying man, in part 2 a ghost, in part 3, himself
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Parts for Senior Actors



Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl’s plays include How to Transcend a Happy Marriage, For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday, The Oldest Boy, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, The Clean House, Orlando, Late: a cowboy song, Dear Elizabeth and Stage Kiss. She is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and a Tony Award nominee. Her plays have been ...

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For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday premiered at the Actors Theatre of Louisville as a part of the Humana Festival in March 2016 under the direction of Les Waters.

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