Springfield Clinic has been a longtime sponsor of Muni shows each summer, and this year we are especially excited to be a part of presenting Peter Pan because our own orthopedics nurse practitioner Elizabeth Cheney is the director.
The first show of the Muni’s 2019 season, Peter Pan is the timeless story of the Darling children meeting a clever and mysterious boy name Peter who whisks them away to Neverland, a magical island full of creatures and people, including the terrifying Captain Hook.
Springfield Clinic orthopedics nurse practitioner Elizabeth Cheney is excited to be bringing this classic tale to life on the Muni’s stage. “There’s a little something for everyone in the show,” she says. “There are pirates, lost boys, fighting, dancing and, of course, singing.”
Elizabeth joined Springfield Clinic as a registered nurse in 2009. She began her current career as an advanced practitioner with Brett Wolters, MD, after receiving her master’s degree from Maryville University in St. Louis in 2015. Prior to delving into nursing, however, Elizabeth’s first career was as a professional ballet and ballroom dancer. Her early arts profession is one of the reasons she is inspired to spend time volunteering to bring the arts into the community now.
Elizabeth’s favorite part about her job as a nurse practitioner is interacting with patients. “I really enjoy getting to know people and their stories,” she says. A lifelong lover of education, she also tries to make a difference in her patients’ health through teaching and sharing knowledge. “If I can show them how they can help control their health and prevent future injuries or future problems, that’s very gratifying.”
Elizabeth’s first Muni show was Annie Get Your Gun in 2005, which she choreographed. Since then, she’s participated in many shows at the Muni in various staff capacities. Most recently, she was an assistant director for the first time for The Little Mermaid in 2016 and co-director and choreographer for White Christmas in 2017. Peter Pan this year will be her first solo directing gig at the Muni. “Theater is a creative outlet for me, and I love being able to share that with the community,” she says. “But really, it’s about connecting with my theater family and being able to lift people up and give them the opportunity to shine and have confidence in being on stage.”
Elizabeth and her staff are excited for Peter Pan to finally come together. “We have an amazing creative team, a fantastic cast and a full orchestra that I can’t wait for the Springfield community to see and hear,” she says. “It’s going to be fun, family friendly and kid oriented.” Springfield Clinic is a proud sponsor of Peter Pan and the Springfield Municipal Opera. Peter Pan runs May 31-June 2 and June 5-9 at 8:30 p.m.
Image of Elizabeth directing courtesy of Anna McFarland and the Springfield Muni.