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Alumni work for Peter Pan Live!


Elizabeth Swerdlin '14 is one of several Emerson alumni working behind the scenes of Peter Pan Live!, which airs live on NBC on December 4. (Courtesy Photo)

At least six Emerson alumni are working behind the scenes of Peter Pan Live!—the live television broadcast of the storied theatrical production set to air on NBC on Thursday, December 4.

“There are a lot of moving parts,” said Elizabeth Swerdlin ’14, who is working as a production assistant. “They’re figuring out how to take a giant musical with so many musical parts and boil it down to two and a half hours.”

It’s the second year NBC has produced a live broadcast of a celebrated theater production during the holiday season. Last year, the network broadcasted a live version of The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood.

Peter Pan Live!, which airs at 8:00 pm EST, stars Christopher Walken (Captain Hook), Allison Williams (Peter Pan), and Minnie Driver (narrator and Adult Wendy Darling).

Peter Pan

Promotional poster for Peter Pan Live! (Photo from

Swerdlin is one of several Emerson alumni, many of whom are recent graduates, working behind the scenes of Peter Pan, including Steven Kaplan ’11, Ashley-Rose Galligan ’12, Jason Pacella ’13, Katelynn Cooper ’13, and Andrew Gottlieb ’08.

The live TV director of Peter Pan Live! is Glenn Weiss, a close friend of Emerson College, who has provided invaluable mentorship to many students over the years.

Swerdlin, who was a Performing Arts major concentrating in stage and production management, said networking with several New York-area alumni helped get her a Peter Pan production assistant position.

“[Kaplan] reached out to me…because he’s the production coordinator,” she said. “It’s a nice little reunion we have going on here.”

Swerdlin was a stage manager for Emerson Stage, a stage manager and segment producer for the Emerson Channel, interned at The Daily Show, and participated in the CBS Page Program before joining Peter Pan this fall.

She grew up in Oceanside, New York, and does not live far from the Long Island airplane hangar-turned-rehearsal space where the Peter Pan cast and crew meet daily, and for many hours at a time.

“I’m excited to hustle a bit more, and to work under pressure,” she said. “That’s what I was training for in school, and I’m so happy to get to do it so close out of the gate.”

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