Journey into a fantastical world of magic, sword fights, friendship and pirates with the performance of “Peter and the Starcatcher.” East Carolina University’s School of Theatre and Dance presents a Tony Award-winning play Oct 12-14. A prequel to Peter Pan, it is based on a book series “Peter and the Starcatchers” by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.
“The show itself is a combination of fantasy, hope, perseverance and about wanting to rise to all challenges. It’s about meeting those challenges, so not only is it humorous but it is also a fast-paced adventure,” said Patch Clark, a professor of theatre and theatre education. She has directed for 25 mainstage ECU Storybook Theatre titles, and “Starcatcher” is her ECU/Loessin mainstage debut production.
A play that is based on a fantasy series does not come without challenges, and the audience will be able to see how these fantastical scenes are brought to life on stage.
“How do you represent two ships splitting into two? A flying cat? How about the crocodile?” asked Clark. “The play will ask the audience to use their imagination. That was the original intent of this theatrical adventure. Children are completely open to imagine, so this asks the audience to become a child again and imagine all of those things.”
Clark makes it clear that this is a play that everyone will enjoy.
“There is humor. There are tender moments,” said Clark. “There are sword fights and some swashbuckling. There are pirates and a crazy, flying cat. There is just so much packed into this one production that makes it fun and engaging. I think that audiences will really be delighted.”
To make the play even more unique, music is sprinkled throughout the show, and the actors continually engage with the audience.
“The fourth wall is broken in this play. The actors will talk to the audience and then jump back into the scene,” said Kelly Toland, who plays Molly Aster, a quick-minded, young girl who befriends Peter. “The audience does become part of the show because we interact with them. It creates the idea that we are taking this journey with the audience.”
This performance marks Toland’s debut as a principal role in a main stage play, and she is very excited for audiences to experience her deliver of Molly Aster.
“I love playing her. One of my favorite parts about playing her is that she is so strong and she is so courageous,” said Toland. “I mean in the whole show there are very few female characters, but I think the fact that she can hold her own from the very first moment of the show to the very last moment is really cool.”
After seeing the show, Toland hopes that the audience will understand that it is okay to still have childlike wonder no matter what age.
“Even if you get older, you don’t have to grow up,” said Toland. “You can still live in that world which I think is important to realize and remember because we are only here for so long. You don’t have to leave your childhood behind.”
Learn more at https://theatredance.ecu.edu/2018-season/.
–By Michelle West, candidate for the B.S. in Communication