We are proud to announce that WE will be performing the Dutch premiere of Ronald Gabriel Paolillo’s first play THE LOST BOY, a deconstruction of James M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan story.

THE LOST BOY is a play by Ronald Paolillo about the author of PETER PAN, James M. Barrie

WE’s members have researched, acted out and voted for this year’s production. Several plays were in contention, but in the end THE LOST BOY emerged as the clear winner. Our actors will now dive into its colourful characters, as the casting process is underway.


The Lost Boy follows the story of J. M. Barrie, following true events, as he devises Neverland and its characters, and in this process confronts and comes to terms with his own haunted past. The action is set simultaneously in early 20th century Britain and Neverland, and it is sure to bring a new perspective on Barrie’s timeless characters and stories.

Despite finding success and fame as a writer, James M. Barrie is dissatisfied with his work and his life. He returns to his hometown in Scotland to visit his mother, who still blames him for the long-ago death of his older brother in a skating pond. Haunted by the tragic accident and his mother’s harsh words, James slowly begins to confront his family’s tragic past with the help of an unexpected friendship and his own gift for storytelling. This fictionalised account of the birth of Peter Pan will warm the hearts of audiences everywhere who remember the magic and mystery of The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.

WOW-Effect Theater will be performing The Lost Boy at the Lindenberg Theater in Nijmegen, on 16 and 17 June.

About the author

Ronald Gabriel Paolillo (April 2, 1949 – August 14, 2012) was an American actor, teacher, playwright, director and illustrator. A man of many trades, he is most famous for starring as Arnold Horshack in the hit ABC sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter (1975-79).  He went on to guest star in over 250 television series and specials. As a stage actor, he performed in Broadway and major theatres across the US. His roles include Mozart in Amadeus, George in Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf, Arthur in Camelot, and Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls. In addition to The Lost Boy, his first full length play which premiered in 2005, he has also penned Who Can Say From This And That?, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, All’s Fair That Ends Well and But God’s First.

Ron Paolillo’s IMDB page (under his stage name).

About James M. Barrie

James M. Barrie was a successful and well-known Scottish playwright, who today is mostly remembered for his play and book Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up. Barrie was born in 1860 in Kirriemuir, Scottland (where the play THE LOST BOY takes place), studied literature and soon became a successful playwright with works such as Walker London and later Peter Pan.

More information about James M. Barrie.

Published Reviews

“An important and entertaining work.”

Bob Heisler, The Journal News

“Paolillo’s new play is a magical, exhilarating flight of endearing wonder into the heart of defiant youth through the core of ageless innocence, by way of the haunting shores of regret to the triumphs of rebirth, love, and forgiveness… Destined to become a classic.”

David S. Skipper, President of Anon: The J.M. Barrie Society