“Peter and the Starcatcher” promises to bring a new twist to an old children’s story

Emily Foster

Staff Writer

“Peter and the Starcatcher” is the latest production to be performed by Troy’s department of theater and dance, in the Trojan Center Theatre starting on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m.

“It is a play that explores the origins of some of our favorite characters from the Peter Pan tales that we all know,” said Tori Lee Averett, a professor of theater and the director of “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

The show will be performed in the Trojan Center Theatre for two weekends, Oct. 12-15 and Oct. 19-21. All Thursday through Saturday performances will start at 7 p.m., while the Sunday, Oct. 15, performance begins at 2:30 p.m.

“I think that people will really enjoy this story,” Averett said. “I don’t think that you have to be a theater-goer or a theater-lover. I don’t think you have to be a Peter Pan enthusiast.

“It’s not Peter Pan. It’s fun and funny and heartwarming and challenging, and I hope people will come out and see it.”

The play by Rick Elice is based on the children’s novel “Peter and the Starcatchers” by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. It explores the journey of three orphans and the origin stories behind Peter Pan, Neverland, Captain Hook and other iconic characters.

“I like to see it as a kids’ show for adults,” said Jay Bowdoin, a senior theater major from Plant City, Florida, who will be playing Lord Astor in the play.

“It’s not really a kids’ show at all,” Bowdoin said. “It just has some of the slight whimsical elements that would make it appropriate for kids to watch as well, but with some of the themes and things, it takes a little bit more of a mature stance.”

“Peter and the Starcatcher” is not a musical, though there will be musical elements and songs performed. The show will feature a cast of 15 students who work together to create a dynamic set.

“We have many different people playing many different characters, narrators, even set pieces in some sense,” said Taylor Montgomery, a junior theater major from Troy, who will be playing Peter. “It’s everybody working together to tell the story.”

“It’s making theater out of very little,” said Averett. “It’s taking a step away from the glitz of Broadway and the big spectacle, and it gets back to the roots of a company of people getting together, using their imaginations and whatever was around them, and making this story come to life.”

As for those coming to see the play, Bowdoin said for audience members to let go of any expectations or preconceived notions of what Peter Pan is and to come ready to view the show with a clean slate as though they are meeting Peter Pan for the first time.

“It invites audiences to definitely use their imaginations to recall what it felt like to be a kid who never wanted to grow up,” Averett said. “There’s a whiff of nostalgia; there’s a lot of humor mixed with poignant moments.

“It’s not a kids’ show, but it’s for the kid in all of us.”

Montgomery said that the rehearsal process has been fast-paced and a lot of hard work, but that the cast has had a lot of fun rehearsing it and is excited to present it.

“We’ve spent a lot of time together, which could be stressful if it wasn’t so much fun,” Averett said. “The cast has been amazing; they’re so inventive, they have such good spirits, the humor is great, we all really enjoy the script — the work and being together.

“So, come ready to relax and go along for the ride.”

Tickets for “Peter and the Starcatcher” are on sale now in the box office on the top floor of the Trojan Center outside the entrance to the theater. The cost is $5 with a student ID and $10 without.

After the Troy performances, the play will be presented in Dothan at the Dothan Opera House and in several schools in the area.

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