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Drama finishes off the year in the stars

By Nhung Lam, Hawkeye staff

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A favorite fairy-tale couple shares their first kiss.

The MTHS drama department held their last play of the school year, closing it off with performances of “Peter and the Starcatcher.” The play premiered from May 31 to June 2. “Peter and the Starcatcher” is based on a novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson and was adapted for the stage by Rick Elice. The play was originally commissioned by the Disney Theatrical Productions and was presented as a “Page to Stage” workshop production at La Jolla Playhouse in 2009. “Page to Stage” is the adaption of literature into scripts, a how-to book that illustrates the process of creating a stageworthy play.

“Peter and the Starcatcher” presents the backstory of how the famous characters got their name and came about. Audience members follow the origin story of characters such as Peter Pan, Mrs. Darling, Tinkerbell and Captain Hook.

The play is set in 1885 during the reign of Queen Victoria with two British Empire ships setting sail for the kingdom of Rundoon. On one of the ships, The Neverland, a group of orphan boys encounter Molly, a smart and curious girl, the daughter of the English lord and minister to the queen and starcatcher. Onboard is a trunk full of “star stuff” that Molly has promised her father to protect. Also onboard are three orphans, and one orphan remains nameless and lonely but when he meets Molly, his world is thrown into turmoil.

The starcatcher’s role is to protect the starstuff keeping it out the hands of bad people. Starstuff, when touched, changes the person into who they desire to be and if it falls into the wrong hands, it could cause trouble, such as someone who wanted world domination and power. In the play, the antagonist Black Stache is after the star stuff so he could obtain the treasure and become the most feared pirates of the seas.

“Peter and the Starcatcher” revolves around three orphans: Boy/Peter (Jaren Kirkma), Ted (Meghan Park), and Prentiss (Tunny Parrish) on the mission to help Molly Aster (Peja Shymko) to protect the starstuff. Molly is an apprentice Starcatcher and is recalcitrant towards her father, Lord Leonard Aster (Christopher Bottman), who is keen on Molly staying on the Neverland ship and not with him on the mission on the Wasp. Before Molly’s father leaves on his mission, he gives Molly a locket to use when either one of them is in trouble.

On the other ship, The Wasp, Lord Aster (Molly’s father) guards a decoy trunk against the pirates in the search for this treasure. He’ll voyage with the trunk aboard The Wasp ran by an old friend, Captain [Robert Falcon Scott] (Michael Wollan), bound for the remote kingdom of Rundoon. The Wasp is later taken over by Black Stache (Flynn Thomas), whois after the starstuff. The trunk on the Wasp is the decoy trunk which enrages him and sets him off to the Neverland ship in pursuit of the real trunk.

A violent storm causes Molly and the orphans to try to save the trunk from Black Stache and his crew. The Neverland is torn apart in the storm causing Molly and the orphans to wash up upon a mysterious island.

Through the chaos of the two ships colliding, the orphan boy meets Black Stache, who gives him the name Peter in the effort of trying to bribe him to hand over the trunk to become a pirate. Peter hands over the fake trunk, which enrages Black Stache, causing Peter to be thrown overboard. Molly has the trunk in safekeeping until she sees Peter drowning. Since he can’t swim, she throws the trunk of starstuff overboard since it floats.

As Peter floats towards the same island as Molly and the other orphans on his trunk, the starstuff is released and dissolved into the grotto, turning the fish into mermaids. He lands on the island and embraces the first time he achieves freedom but soons finds himself feeling lonely. He is then greeted by a bird and aks it to be his friend but then the bird flies away causing Peter to tell the bird to come back. Peter later runs into Ted and Prentiss on the island.

The boys descend deeper into the mountains and become quickly separated in the dark jungle. Separated and defenseless, they realized they’re not alone; there are natives on the island. Soon, Molly, being the expert swimmer, makes it on the island also. The natives then hold Molly and the boys to be fed to Mr. Grin, the crocodile. They escape from the crocodile when Molly throws her glowing locket at the crocodile causing it to grow into an enormous size enraging the Mollusk.

Peter wants to build a raft to leave the island, but Molly receives a message from her father in Norse code telling her to focus on the mission where the trunk comes first. Molly and the boys race up the mountains to see who would get to the trunk first with the Mollusk chasing them. With the Mollusk on his trail, he gets distracted by a bird and falls into a grotto where he is met by a mermaid.

When Peter falls into the groove he is met with a warm and fuzzy feeling; he is soaked in starstuff. Teacher, the mermaid, explains how starstuff had transformed her from a fish to mermaid, fulfilling her dreams. Teacher and the island give Peter his second name, which is Pan. Teacher tells Peter that Pan has two meanings. Pan meant fun, frolic, anarchy, and mischief which is all the things a boy likes. Before revealing the second meaning, Teacher reminds Peter about the trunk causing him to bolt back up to the mountaintop.

Molly, Prentiss, and Ted drag the trunk back to the beach but a storm prompts the orphan boys to sleep. While the orphans are sleeping, Peter finds his way and surprises Molly. After their reunion, Molly falls asleep and Peter tries to open the trunk of star stuff but is scared off when the boys make some noise.

Smee (Ty Harden) tries to lure the kids through a ukulele song and Black Stache also tries baiting the kids with poisonous fruit cake, but Molly sees through the facade. Stace and Smee reveal he has Mrs. Bumbrake and Alf, and suddenly the Mollusk arrives with Lord Aster and Captain Scott (Michael Wollan).

Through the chaos, Stache threatens Molly’s life, telling Peter to either choose her or the trunk. Peter knew his no matter what choice he made he wouldn’t able to ever leave the island. Peter acts selflessly and surrenders, choosing Molly. Stache opens the trunk and asks “are we sensing a pattern here?” The trunk Stache opens is empty which throws him into a fit of frustration and slams the trunk on his right hand severing it. Stache blames Peter for his severed hand claiming he will be his foe for all of eternity.

Fighting Prawn, the leader of the Mollusks honors Peter as a true hero, allowed the English to leave and exist alongside the Mollusks. Molly’s father declares Molly as a full-fledged Starcatcher. Now with the starstuff done, the mission is complete.

It is time to go home and Molly begs her father if they could bring the orphans with them because they deserve a home. Molly’s father agrees to bring the orphans home until Peter mentions his encounter with Teacher, the mermaid. Molly and Lord Aster then realizes that Peter can’t leave the island since he’s been transformed by starstuff when he fell into the grotto. When he fell into the grotto, the teacher shared only one meaning of his last name leaving the second meaning a secret. Lord Aster explains the second meaning of his last name. The second meaning of his last name was that the island and its inhabitants are now his family. When Peter fell into grotto with the startuff dissolved in it, he doesn’t realizes that he got what he wanted; a home.

Lord Aster takes the last of his starstuff and turns the bird that first greeted peter when he arrived at the island into a pixie to protect and guide Peter. Peter will stay on the island, where he won’t grow up. Molly bids farewell to Peter with a kiss and sets sail on the wasp leaving Peter behind. Peter begins to forget what had happened and settles into the eternal present of youth. The lost boys also take a dip in the waters of the grotto and stay with Peter in eternal youth.

Years later, grown-up Molly watches her daughter Wendy fly off with Peter, which comforted her in the fact Peter now has someone to look after him for a while. Molly hopes each family generation has a daughter who will go with Peter forever looking after him.

The MTHS drama department have been hard at work for two months preparing for “Peter and the Starcatcher.” For two months everyday after school for an hour and a half, the crew put their energy and time into rehearsing. In the weeks leading up to the premiere, the crew would rehearse for four to six hours each day.

With all this preparation and rehearsal, there’s still a chance of making mistakes during a live show. In theatre they have a saying—“cover and go on”—when someone makes a mistake. Actors have to try to make it as not obvious as possible and stay in character.

“The audience [was] reacting positively and the cast and crew [were] enjoying it. I personally love the show we crafted,” expressed senior Matt Correa.

Black Stache, Molly and Lord Aster were the crew’s and audience’s favorite characters, often prompting laughter from the audience and the crew itself.

Senior David Hill encourages “those who want to join drama, [to] do it. Even if you think you don’t what it takes just try.”

To the drama department, theatre is a way to express yourself. Shymko loves theatre because it’s a chance for her to become someone else, to see the world from someone else’s eyes.

“It’s beautiful to be on stage and feel your troubles just melt away as you become immersed in the story you’re telling,” Shymko said.

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About the Writer
Nhung Lam, Staff
Nhung Lam, a sophomore and second-year staff at the Hawkeye started her Journalism career at Brier Terrace Middle School’s The Bulldog Brief. In Hawkeye, she enjoys covering sports in photography and writing about things that interest her, such as sports, local events and problems in the community. As a MTHS student, Nhung participates in the...
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Drama finishes off the year in the stars