RANDOLPH, NJ -- Randolph High School’s annual fall play Peter and the Starcatcher caught the audience’s attention with the performance’s outstanding leading actors, set design, and overall success in pulling off a complex play.
The curtain parted for the first time on Nov. 2, with a show each night until Nov. 4. The show serves as the preamble to Peter Pan, providing context as to who Peter and the Lost Boys are, as well as how they got there. It also sets the scene as to Peter and Molly’s (Wendy, Michael and John’s mother) past relationship, and explains exactly how the crocodile got such a taste for Captain Hook’s flesh.
The show opened on a ship with Molly, played perfectly by senior Regina McElroy, and her father, played equally as well by junior Matt Vogel. The characters have only two things on their mind: their love for their British homeland and their mission to protect the queen’s chest of “star stuff.”
Between several well-delivered “God save the queen!”s, the audience comes to understand that the aforementioned “star stuff” is highly valuable, and that Molly and her father are in charge of collecting it by working as “Starcatchers”. Star stuff has magical powers that can fulfill anyone’s one true desire, and as a result, it is essential that starcatchers keep it out of the wrong hands.
The journey ensues as Peter, played by junior Owen Weiss, who for the beginning of the play is a nameless orphan, along with other orphans struggle to move on from their tortured pasts, as well as decide who would be the leader of the group. Peter has to learn about selflessness and trust, while Molly teaches him through her own displays of giving, through her loyalty to her father, the British monarchy, and bedtime stories.
In countless, but nevertheless touching, attempts to preserve the trunk of star stuff in the face of many hurdles--including the appearance of Captain Hook, who goes by Captain Black-stache, played by senior Adam Some; separation of ships; displays of the pitiful dedication of Smee, played by junior Samantha Fishkin; captivity of Molly’s father; and landing on a magical island--the children all learn about what it means to be a part of a team, and as a result, what it means to be part of a family.
As the audience flies through this journey alongside Peter and Molly, it’s clear to see the amount of sheer effort and coordination that went into putting on this production.
Throughout the set, there were colorful jungle scenes and coral reef carts to set the scene for your imagination. Not only were they detailed, but they corresponded with each act, foreshadowing for what was to come.
No only did the cast perform spectacular scenes, and humorous dialogue but the play consisted of one musical number. As the Lost Boys are fending for their lives on the island, they meet mermaids who sing a lovely song about star stuff, and specifically why it is so amazing.
The first-time Randolph High School director Mr. Burlas was very pleased with his cast, expressing, "I am very proud of the students' work on this production. The style [of the show] was definitely a challenge and they managed to raise the bar every night. They really pushed themselves."
Burlas knew when he chose the show that Peter and the Starcatcher is a very complex play, but was more than pleased with his casts end result. “Something unique about the production was that students were required to be onstage the whole time, play a variety of roles, and utilize set pieces and props in imaginative, new ways. The actors had to really believe that what they were doing was actually happening, or the audience would have gotten bored and never brought into the story." The Randolph High School’s 2017 fall drama went on without a hitch.
Editor's Note: Alexandra De Caro and Kaitlyn Kudriavetz are students at Randolph High School participating in a journalism program with TAP into Randolph.