I recently got a chance to chat with Billy Harrigan Tighe who plays J.M. Barrie in Finding Neverland, playing now at PPAC. Check out our interview below and remember you can still get seats for the show!
What is your favorite thing about being in a touring show?
My favorite aspect of being on tour is traveling the country with my wife and going on this grand adventure together. We’re often far apart and working in different places, so its truly a blessing to be touring together and enjoying all the cities as a couple.
Peter Pan is one of my favorite stories, what life lessons can you take away from J.M Barrie?
Playing Barrie has brought a lot of joy back into my performing. With any job, its easy to get swept up into the stress and pressures that come with your work. Our story is all about rediscovering your passion and enjoying each moment of life we’re given. Playing J.M Barrie each night has been a constant reminder that while my job might be difficult, its most fun when I don’t focus on the work and just enjoy each moment.
In that regard, do you find it difficult to play a historical person more so than a fictional character?
I don’t find it to be all that different. It makes the initial research more involved because you’re focusing on a person who existed, but my main goal is always to study the story we’re telling and base my character on what the show is demanding. Our show focuses on a very specific period of J.M Barrie’s life and my goal was to align my traits with his head space around this period of his life.
Finding Neverland has many child actors in the cast, any advice for our youngest readers who may aspire to do the same?
I always think this is a career where learning and growing never stops. As performers your skills always need to be at their best. That means knowing what you’re good at, while also acknowledging what you need to work on to grow to be your best. You’re never done learning, growing and discovering. I still take voice lessons, work with coaches and see as much theater as possible. Its an obsession.
If you could spend one day in Neverland, what would you do?
Fly and join the lost boys. I was obsessed with HOOK as a kid so to spend time in the Lost Boys camp and fly through Neverland would be a dream come true.
Since the holidays are here, if you could get your Christmas wish to play any role, which would you pick and why?
I recently saw SHE LOVES ME and found it to be absolutely charming. Its a perfect jewel box musical that ties in with the holidays perfectly. It might not be my answer a week from now, but right now I’d do anything to play Georg in SHE LOVES ME. Great songs, dialogue and plenty of comedic moments to sink your teeth into.
Get your tickets for the show HERE!