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27 May 2017

Faith, Trust, and Starstuff

Co-written with Talia Roldan with the assistance of Kathryn Strimbu

Four pirates, three lost boys, two lovebirds, and one determined starcatcher took the stage last week in this year’s fall play Peter and the Starcatcher. This nationally acclaimed play has made its way to Andrean, the very first high school in the country to have the opportunity to perform it. The cast and crew of Peter and the Starcatcher had rehearsed since this past summer, and their effort was obvious to the audience. The talented students at Andrean are back with another big theater success, and the Andrean family, especially graduated thespians, could not be more proud.

“It’s so perfect. You know those people, when you see those kids in the front row, and their eyes just like sparkle? I’m eighteen and that happens,” said former thespian Isabella Pradhan (‘16). Alumna Kendra Morley (‘16) had exactly the same sentiments. “This is my third time seeing it, but I feel like I’m seeing it over again every single time,” Morley said.

Some of Andrean’s most renowned actors made an appearance in the show, including Ogunde Snelling (12) and Allison Biscocho (12). Snelling played the “Boy,” who was later known as Peter Pan. “This was the first show where I had the leading role in which the show revolved around me,” Snelling said. “It is very scary but at the same time empowering and exciting.” Throughout the performance the Boy struggled to find himself in a tough world, but his life started to make a turn for the better once he met Biscocho’s character, Molly Aster. Molly was the determined starcatcher-in-training with a special mission from her father, Lord Leonard Aster. She wanted to prove herself to her father, but Molly’s mission was in jeopardy once she embarked on the Neverland.

Aboard the Neverland was a rambunctious crowd of pirates and lost boys. Black Stache, played by Zachary Scalzitti (11), was the captain of the Wasp, the enemy ship that took over the Neverland. Black Stache was after Lord Aster’s starstuff, magical dust which he told his daughter Molly to guard, with Black Stache’s right-hand-man Smee, played by Tyree Austin (12). Throughout the play, Black Stache was on a wild hunt, searching for the very valuable starstuff that he had much trouble finding. The lost boys and Molly encountered some rather odd characters throughout their journey, including beautiful mermaids and a tick-tock croc. In the end, Molly and Peter saved the starstuff from the pesky hands of Black Stache, and Peter fulfilled his lifelong dream of never growing up.

Peter and the Starcatcher is a play that appeals to all emotions and audiences. In one scene, the audience was laughing at Black Stache’s comments to Smee, and in the next the audience was in awe of how beautifully the cast sang “Swim On.”

“I’ve never seen a show where so much imagination is used in so many ways,” Biscocho said. Peter and the Starcatcher also has many elements that people of all ages loved. “This show has whimsy for young children, humor for teenagers, and an emotional substance for adults,” Biscocho said. While Peter and the Starcatcher has many components of an average play, it is not all that it seems. “The script alone makes the play unique; everything about the show is out of the ordinary for a regular play,” Snelling said. “One of the most unique things, however, would be the fact that there is singing in it, but it is not a musical.” With the whimsical elements, humorous phrases, marvelous songs, and emotional dialogues, the young and the old can come to love everything the play has to offer.

One of Andrean’s Spanish teachers, Mrs. Amanda Grove, fell in love with the cast and storyline of Peter and the Starcatcher. Grove felt that the show was wonderful and wished that it would have been mandatory for all of the Andrean family to go see it. She was specifically impressed by all of the chorus scenes. Although the scenes involved props, dancing, singing, and coordination, she felt that they were executed perfectly. “The technical difficulty of executing a scene like that is impressive: keeping a beat, timing the lines correctly, not stumbling over the words, not hitting yourself in the face with an umbrella,” Grove said. “There were multiple scenes throughout the show where that kind of flawless coordinated performance seems effortless, but took hours of practice and fighting through mistakes to come out the way it did.”

Grove also said that her favorite character was Molly. She felt that Molly can be a great role model for any girl that is coming of age. “As a character Molly is a representation of a real, strong young woman who understands her potential and stands up to not just challenges, but also attacks on her very identity and role as a young woman,” Grove said. Molly fought to be a leader, and Grove felt that she should be labeled as one due to the leadership skills that she demonstrated.

Peter and the Starcatcher is a heartwarming play about faith, trust, and starstuff. From Molly and her lost boys to Black Stache and his trusted companion Smee, the cast and crew had the audience laughing, singing, and crying. With the loveable leads and their many courageous companions, the performance is one the Andrean family will never forget.