Aurora -- Two former Aurora residents will appear in NBC-TV's "Peter Pan Live" on Dec. 4 at 8 p.m.

Caitlin Houlahan, an Aurora High School graduate, plays Jane, while Chris McCarrell, a University School grad, plays Lost Boy Nibs. Both are 23 and graduated from Baldwin Wallace University.

Houlahan said Jane is Wendy's daughter.

"We don't see Jane in the Disney version of Peter Pan," she said. "She's a new character for many.

"Jane has a young energy that is practically an inverse of Wendy's motherly energy when Wendy goes to Neverland. I won't give away any more, but the scene with Peter Pan and Jane has quite a magical quality about it."

McCarrell said Nibs is described as being the most confident Lost Boy in Neverland, "but I've been having fun layering on some other ideas.

"He's starting to become quite a gentleman since my costume includes a roughed-up tailcoat and top hat. I'd say his style is the most interesting part about him. When he plays, he dresses for it."

Houlahan said the interesting thing about this production is "its fusion of television and theatre.

"The cast is made up of both mediums of actors. Everything is taped live, so there is no room for mistake.

"What the audience at home is seeing on TV is happening at that moment on set -- giving it the feeling of live theatre with the accessibility for millions to watch from the comfort of their homes."

McCarrell said the cameras follow the actors through Neverland "while we walk -- usually run -- from one location to the next. We really have created an environment to live in, rather than a stage to present on."

Houlahan's parents, Pat and Mary, still live in Aurora. She has two brothers -- Shawn and Corey.

McCarrell's parents -- Bernie and DeAnna, a retired AHS guidance counselor -- also live in Aurora. He has two brothers, Mitch and Geoff.

At Aurora High School, Houlahan studied theater under Rob Albrecht and Ed Nabring.

"They gave us such room for creativity to blossom," she said.

At University School, McCarrell's theater instructor was Carol Pribble.

"I fell in love with the craftsmanship of acting because of 'CP,'" he said. "She really got me started."

At Baldwin Wallace, both studied under and praised Vicky Bussert, who Houlahan called "the heartbeat of the BW music theater experience."

Houlahan and McCarrell attended elementary school, middle school and college together. "Now, we live in New York City together," she said. "It's very humorous. We've always been good friends, but now that we are working on the same project together, you could say we are two birds of a feather. Most times, we are attached at the hip."

McCarrell said, "It's rare to have someone in this industry that knows you from before you started theater.

"It still blows my mind we're doing this together. This never happens. It's nice to have someone you know so well doing something that's so foreign to you both.

"There's one picture we found of us back in the day doing a show at Harmon School, where Caitlin is actually taller than me," he added. "That was a hit with the cast."


Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187


Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC