John Pielmeier


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Family Adventure, Full-length

by John Pielmeier

Captain James Hook (née Cook), badly maligned by a certain play and despised by generations of Peter Pan fans, finally gets to clear his name. The good Captain, with the aid of his friend Smee, tells his life-story in this family-friendly play, recounting his friendship with and ultimate betrayal by Peter Pan, his romance with Tiger Lily, his familial relationship with the Darling family, and his adoption of a lovable crocodile named Daisy. In narrating his tale, he uncovers the hidden treasure of Neverland, discovers the identity of his long-lost father, and learns the importance of growing up and growing old.

“Rollicking... [Hook’s Tale] satisfyingly upends all the familiar elements of Barrie’s children’s story. A splendid yarn.”

—Publishers Weekly

“...the myths of Neverland are expertly woven together with a coming-of-age story. Wildly imagined, with Easter eggs for Peter Pan fans along the way, Hook’s Tale...was highly entertaining and well-told...”

—San Francisco Book Review (5 stars)

“...a deliciously complex story of Dickensian dimensions...”

—Hudson Valley Magazine

Production Notes:



JAMES HOOK (née Cook), by reputation a pirate

SMEE, Hook’s right-hand (literally) man, who sports at least one very bad (misspelled?) tattoo

Time and Place

Duke of York Theatre, London, approximately 1938—and many other places far, far away....

The Set

The wooden deck of a ship. There is a staircase or ship’s ladder descending from the poop deck, at least one mast (behind which a tiny Cotswold cottage, and various other props may be stored), ropey rigging, barrels below filled with skeletons and wooden bats and buckets above filled with water, a board forming a make-shift table holding various props as needed, a wind-machine, thunder-sheet, and whatever items necessary for certain sound effects (Smee produces these, when appropriate), a big old-fashioned lighting board with several large levers (Smee controls the lights too, though of course he doesn’t really) and a place of concealment where Smee can don whatever costumes he needs. In working the lights or producing sound, Smee is often (especially as the play progresses) shrouded in darkness.



JOHN PIELMEIER began his career as an actor, working at Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Guthrie Theater, Milwaukee Rep, Alaska Rep, Baltimore’s Center Stage, and the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights’ Conference. It was at the O’Neill that his play AGNES OF GOD was first staged. A co-winner of the Great American Play contest, AGNES premiered professionally at Actors Theatre of Louisville, which production was followed by several regional productions and a seventeen month run on Broadway. His other plays include VOICES IN THE DARK, produced on Broadway and winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Best Play (published by Broadway Play Publishing) ; Haunted Lives, a collection of one-acts published by Broadway Licensing; Courage, a one-man show about J.M. Barrie, produced at the Lambs’ Theatre off-Broadway, published by Broadway Licensing and filmed for public television (performed by the author); The Boys of Winter, produced on Broadway and published by Broadway Licensing; Sleight of Hand, produced on Broadway; Jass, presented at the O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference and workshopped at the New Harmony Project; Impassioned Embraces, a collection of short plays and monologues, published by... [FULL BIO]