|Peter Jones: no, not that one...||Page 1|
The year was 1974, the place the legendary East Street Elementary School Auditorium/Gymnasium/Lunchroom in New Milford, Connecticut, the play the classic tale of The Elves and the Shoemaker. Based on rehearsals, the director felt everyone was ready; what she did not count on was the effect applause would have on one of her elves. The elf's part called for some dialogue, singing, and a little dancing. On opening night, which also happened to be closing night, the play began without a hitch. The shoemaker and his wife said their lines without much offstage prompting, before they exited stage right. The lights dimmed a bit, and the elves entered stage left. They began dancing around and singing, just as they had rehearsed. After the song, there was a round of applause. Suddenly one of the elves decided he liked the sound of applause, and he created a new song and dance on the spot. The audience erupted in laughter and thunderous applause, while the other elf looked at the director offstage in absolute bewilderment. While the director hissed for the precocious youngster to stop improvising, she soon realized there was no stopping that little red headed boy that night. While the youngster did not take to the stage again until his high school years, he did not forget the thrill of being on stage, having his name called out by the audience for a special round of applause at the end of the performance. Peter Jones would be forever changed from that one night.
After high school and a year in Germany, Peter went on to Clark University. While he studied American Government and Russian History the first two years, he spent the second half of his undergraduate life enjoying acting and improvisation workshops. He also began taking classes on the works of the Brothers Grimm. Upon graduation, Peter began reading the folktales of other cultures, and a few years later considered entering the world of graduate studies in comparative literature.
After looking at different schools across the United States, he moved at the beginning of 1993 to Charlottesville, Virginia, home of the University of Virginia. The idea was to get his residence, thus allowing him in-state tuition, and begin graduate studies at the highly regarded School of Arts and Sciences in 1995. That gave Peter 20 months to continue his own personal studies and see what other creative endeavors he might undertake. It was during this time that he joined an improv troupe performing TheatreSports; a style much like that seen on the television program, "Whose Line Is It Anyway?".