Sets as tall as a pirate ship loomed over the stage, and ropes slung from the ceiling of the auditorium. The audience was about to embark on the Neverland. Loudoun Valley High School s production of Peter and the Starcatcher made magic with stunning sets, a vibrant cast, and refreshing creativity.
This play was adapted by Rick Elice, and is based on a book by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. The play showcases how Peter Pan became Peter Pan, and is filled with histrionic humor, and outrageous characters. Peter and the Starcatcher opened on Broadway in 2012, and completed its run in 2014. This 5-time Tony award-winning play captures the magic behind the story of Neverland, and demonstrates the value of cherishing childhood.
The cast relied on the detailed development of every single character, the energy and fluidity of the ensemble, and beautifully paired sound effects and pantomime. Loudoun Valley effectively created scenes out of thin air with nothing but the use of their strong ensemble and a few pieces of rope. The ensemble of Storytellers were creative, devoted, and brought the story to life. All members of the cast were extremely invested in the show.
Trevor Schoeny, playing Peter, engaged the audience with childlike wonder, and held everyone in the palm of his hand in scenes such as The Beach. The character s counterpart Molly Aster, portrayed by Megan Horgan brought a feisty and spirited character to life. Both worked off of each other well and developed an enjoyable relationship between the two characters.
Playing the passionate pirate of trickery Black Stache, Charlie Trochlil captured the character in its entirety. Trochlil remained completely invested in the character the entire time, and bounced off of his underling Smee, portrayed by Ian Carlson, creating a powerful dynamic duo. Both held consistent and incredible characters throughout the entire show and even continued to swell with vibrant energy in scenes such as the vaudevillian mermaid song. Another powerful dynamic duo included Ted (Evan Kagarise) and Prentiss (Blake Carlson). Both developed highly humorous moments with one another, and truly captured their characters with childlike wonder. Other spotlight characters include Mrs. Bumbrake and Lord Aster. Mrs. Bumbrake, played by Darius Fraser, truly showcased the busty character and played up dead-pan moments. Zhal Azizi, who depicted Lord Aster, produced a refreshing father-like chemistry with his daughter Molly Aster (Megan Horgan).
The creative lighting helped to depict each scene to its full extent. Both the lighting and sound were nearly flawless in timing. The sound crew and cast were able to create scenes out of thin air with the use of highly accurate pantomiming and humorous sound effects. Though some lines became lost to the audience, the cast demonstrated an impressive ability to project even without the use of personal mics. Makeup was highly detailed and vibrant. The Mollusks makeup were all varied, yet combined wonderfully to create the rambunctious, pasta-loving tribe. The fast-moving sets contributed to never a dull moment.
Loudoun Valley High School’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher had the audience on the edges of their seats; savoring childhood and catching stardust throughout the energetic and imaginative production.
Written by Molly Wandorf, student at Woodgrove High School