Drama students at Palos Verdes High School will bring the fictional world of Peter Pan to the stage when their production of the Tony Award-winning play “Peter and the Starcatcher” begins Friday, Nov.
Drama director Nicole Thompson said the play is the first live production of the school’s drama program since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s an ensemble where all 16 actors are on stage for almost the entire show,” Thompson said. “It’s beautiful and the show has such magic.”
The PVHS drama students did their best to keep the dramatic magic alive during the pandemic. This spring he filmed the musical “Urintown” and edited it into an online presentation. And, for their canceled 2020 production of “Crazy For You,” some students and PVHS alumni put on an abridged version of that show last summer.
But, ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ is its first full live production. And students said there’s nothing quite like being physically back on stage and performing in front of a live audience.
PVHS Junior, Neela David, who plays Molly, said being involved in a live production is like building a family.
“It just feels so real, and it’s so irresistible every time,” David said. “It just makes you feel so alive; That’s one of the best things about theatre.”
“Peter and the Starcatcher” is based on the book series written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. His 2004 series was based on the turn-of-the-century works of J.M. Barrie about Peter Pan, a mischievous young boy who never grows old and has the power to fly.
In the play – a prequel to Barry’s “Peter and Wendy” – a group of orphans, known as “Boys”, are sent to a distant island. They discover a trunk with mysterious contents, they meet Molly, a teenager who wants to protect the trunk, and of course, there are pirates.
Senior Michael Sprengel plays Boy – the character who would eventually become known as Peter Pan.
“I hope they (the audience) get a new light on the story of Peter Pan because it is essentially a prologue and how Peter and Captain Hook become rivals,” Sprengel said.
David said that her character, Molly, is stubborn and self-confident.
“Throughout the story, she is guiding Peter and guiding other orphans,” David said. “She likes to be the leader and she likes to be right. It’s so much fun to be a character who was so confident and confident in herself and ready to take control of every situation.”
Sprengel said that he was fond of Peter Pan books when he was young. Playing the title role is actually his first theater production.
“It’s a little nerve-wracking,” Sprengel said. “But being on stage and having an audience is really fun.”
if you go
When: November 5 and November 6 at 7 pm; November 7 at 2 p.m.; November 12 and 13, 7 pm; and November 14 at 2 pm
Where: Palos Verdes High, 600 Cloyden Road, Palos Verdes Estates
Tickets: $20 for adults and $15 for students