Updated: Apr 18, 2019
Fulton Hall’s Black Box Theatre was transformed into the harrowing seas of late 19th-century England, in the Bobbi Biron Theatre Company‘s production of Tony Award-winning play “Peter and the Starcatcher” from April 4 through 14.
"Peter and the Starcatcher" tells the story of three British orphans aboard a ship, who get wrapped up in the battle for a trunk of magic “star stuff.”
When Lord Aster disappears from the British ship, The Wasp, rumors of kidnap by the pirate ship, The Neverland, begin to circulate.
His daughter, Molly Aster, is determined to find out what happened to her father, and to make sure the trunk of “star stuff,” the cargo they were transporting for the Queen, doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Molly and her father are Starcatchers, who are the guardians of “star stuff,” which is a substance so powerful it will corrupt anyone with an evil heart.
One night, while Molly is exploring the ship, she finds three orphan boys, Prentiss, Ted and a nameless boy, who have been sold to an evil king on a far-off island. They are aboard the ship to meet their doom.
The four become fast, but uneasy allies. When The Wasp runs into The Neverland on tumultuous seas, both ships are wrecked on a desolate island. From there, the four kids must find the now-missing trunk of “star stuff” before the evil pirate Captain Black Stache and his side kick Smee get to it first.
Through their journey they encounter wise mermaids, hungry natives who speak in Italian food tongues and a massive crocodile with glowing eyes. The journey eventually ends in success.
Molly and her father are reunited, the star stuff is safe and the orphan boys have found a new home.
Before Molly and her father depart, Molly promises Peter, formerly the nameless boy, that one day her daughter will come back to visit him on this island. They hug, and Peter declares he will name the island “Neverland” in honor of the journey that brought him there.
SU freshman Kate Carpenter, who played the role of Molly Aster, declared this last scene to be her favorite from the show.
“My favorite part is at the end of the show," Carpenter said. "I’ll be standing up on the ladder and I’ll sneak a glance at the audience and watch their faces as they realize that the story is setting up the tale of Peter Pan.”
Much of the cast expressed sentimental feelings toward the final showings of the play. Sophomore Brett Stiles specifically attributed the show‘s success to elements of community and teamwork.
Carpenter echoed this opinion highlighting how close-knit the cast was.
“I just love the sense of ensemble from start to finish, it feels like a family,” Carpenter said.
The show was presented as theater in the round, meaning the audience sat on all four walls of the black box and the actors used the whole space as the stage — even joining in the audience at times.
The interactive elements required every actor to be “on” at all times and to learn to rely on each other to hit their marks.
Aside from the need for strict focus, the show also required elements of physical edurance.
“’Peter’ is also like nothing I’ve ever done before, the stamina required is incredible. We are moving these heavy set pieces ourselves every night, in character, and at times we physically are the set,” Carpenter said.
SU junior Jake Thereault, who played the roles of Mrs. Brambake and Teacher, explained his favorite part of the show was the visual aesthetic.
“The show is visually interesting; there’s so much going on at all times, and to me, that’s one of the biggest draws to come see it,” Thereault said.
Throughout the two-and-a-half-hour run, there were plenty of special effects to keep the audience entertained, including blinking lights to signify the ancient art of “Norse code,” as well as smoke machines, a drummer who doubled as a crocodile and a moldable set comprised of only props.
It is the people behind the curtain who are tasked with keeping track of the vast number of props.
“It was difficult keeping all the props together night after night and rehearsal after rehearsal, especially super small things like the toothbrush, but in the end, it looked incredible,” stage manager and sophomore Katie Hopwood said.
"Peter and The Starcatcher" has now come to a close, but the actors are looking forward to next year‘s season, and they hope you are too.
By GILLIAN VAN DITTA
Featured photo : Jeanne Anderton image.