A spring play dazzled with starstuff
All you need is a little faith, trust and…starstuff? Northwood’s Theatre Arts department dazzled audiences from April 18 to April 22 with six shows of its spring play, “Peter and the Starcatcher.”
“Peter and the Starcatcher” is the story of a nameless orphan and his journey to becoming the iconic Peter Pan (junior Akash Seeramreddi), the boy who never grew up. Peter finds himself stranded on a dangerous island with fellow orphans Prentiss and Teddy (sophomores Ian Gibson and Sami Alarcon) and starcatcher-in-training Molly Aster (senior Amy Walsh). They are chased by a crew of vicious pirates headed by the flamboyant Captain Blackstache (senior Katherine Paladichuk) and the bumbling Smee (junior Saranyan Uthayakumar) who are attempting to steal a chest full of the coveted “starstuff,” an elusive substance that has the power to make dreams come true.
For the many students who grew up with the story of Peter Pan, the play provided a novel take on a classic tale.
“Peter is very different from the Peter Pan I grew up with,” Seeramreddi said. “He just has a totally different outlook on life and has so much hate for the world. The character development that he underwent throughout the play made it feel as though I was playing three different characters: first a boy, then Peter and finally Peter Pan.”
As Northwood’s last mainstage production of the year, “Peter and the Starcatcher” was the product of the tireless efforts of over 60 students. Both cast and crew members dedicated countless hours to designing sets, sounds and costumes and rehearsing songs, lines and stunts, all with the goal of bringing Peter’s tale to life.
“It took us a little over a month to prepare everything,” technical director Jerry Liu said. “The quick turnaround from ‘Shrek’ had us working right up until opening night. I’m most proud of the crew, who never once let the production’s obstacles stop them. Despite the heavy time constraints, everyone worked tirelessly every night to make sure the show was ready on opening night.”
The production was bittersweet for the seniors of the cast and crew, who will be bidding farewell to the Northwood stage upon graduation. Many of the senior members found the play’s theme of growing up and moving on relevant to their own experiences in high school theater, especially with graduation right around the corner.
“I had this line: ‘It’s supposed to hurt. That’s how you know it meant something,’” Walsh said. “That line stuck with me the whole show and made me cry every single time. It’s such a strong message, and as a senior, it resonates. Whenever the thought of leaving Northwood hits, I remember that line.”
While this may have been Northwood’s last mainstage production, Northwood’s Advanced Drama class will be hosting Coffeehouse, a yearly showcase of comedy, poetry and musical acts, on May 27 at 7 p.m. Auditions for the event will be held on May 9 and 10.