CultureMap Video Interview

Cathy Rigby's secret of youth: Stage kids keep 60-year-old Peter Pan star flying high

Cathy Rigby's secret of youth: Stage kids keep 60-year-old Peter Pan star flying high

Can you really claim to be the same person you were two decades ago?

People change, people grow up, people mature — so we hope. 

Cathy Rigby, the Olympic gymnast turned Broadway queen whose iconic role in Peter Pan has enchanted audiences for 20 or so years, has had to come of age. She has four kids, four grandchildren, runs a performing arts school, pays her bills on time, maintains her petite physique and exercises her characteristic honest voice — at 60 years old.

It's children's energy, freshness and sense of humor that remind Rigby to always look at everything with the openness of someone who's just finding their path in life.

Much of what keeps her young and agile is coaching and working alongside children and emerging students of musical theater. For Theatre Under the Stars' Peter Pan, playing through Dec. 22 at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Rigby's colleagues include 15 pupils of the Humphreys School of Musical Theatre, ranging in age from elementary to high school.

Although her job is to impart a sense of confidence in students and offer wise advice so they in turn claim their rightful place in the spotlight, it's their energy, freshness and sense of humor that propel Rigby to always look at everything with the openness of someone who's just finding their path in life.

In this CultureMap video interview during a rehearsal, Rigby talks about her adventures with children, who remind her that everything is possible, who dare to take on the impossible and who teach her about hope and possibilities.

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Theatre Under the Stars presents Peter Pan at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets start at $24 and can be purchased online or by calling 713-558-8887.

Cathy Rigby, Peter Pan, lost boys, December 2012
In this video interview, Cathy Rigby talks about her adventures with children, who remind her that everything is possible and who teach her about hope and possibilities. Photo by Joel Luks
Peter Pan video interview Cathy Rigby, December 2012
For Theatre Under the Stars' Peter Pan, Cathy Rigby's colleagues include 15 pupils of the Humphreys School of Musical Theatre Photo by Joel Luks
Cathy Rigby, Peter Pan, lost boys, December 2012
Peter Pan video interview Cathy Rigby, December 2012