Peter and the Starcatcher at Hubbard Hall
Written by Rick Elice
Music by Wayne Barker
Directed by David Snider
Peter – Christiana Roewer
Molly Aster – Kyra Fitzgerald
Black Stache – Erin Ouellette*
Bill Slank/Hawking Clam – Jack Boggan
Lord Aster – Kristoffer Ross
Smee – Catherine Seeley
Ted – Sarah Burke
Prentiss – Shawna Martinez
Mrs. Bumbrake/Teacher – Katherine Danforth
Alf – Daniel Salzer
Captain Scott – Mara Bailey
Grempkin/Fighting Prawn/Mack/Sanchez – Michael Raffel
Ensemble – Leila Bruske
Soooo, we are riding through a dark night, much too dark for late fall, to beautiful Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, New York. It looks warm, it smells warm, it is warm. When we got there, took our seats, we saw what very well may be the most intricate piece of theater ever played on this stage. I’m talking about Peter and the Starcatcher, a prequel to Peter Pan, but nothing like the Peter Pan I know. This was intense ensemble work. It was our good fortune to see one of the last performances, and the machine of the play had been tuned to a fine point. There was constant motion, full of connects and disconnects, never a stopping point. The detailed language, and the even more detailed movement, were executed superbly by mostly high school students. And after several performances it had been honed to something like perfection. The primary spirit of this was that of David Snider, who directed. The play is a hilarious dramatic structure that demands exquisite and constant detail. And these kids executed it like it was child’s play. Singing, speaking, and movement were easily made into one fantastic thing, and when one caught up with the speed of it, it became pure delight. This was one of the best performances I have seen at Hubbard Hall in my twenty-some years of attending productions there. It was the ease that these young actors showed—ease in the midst of complexity—that impressed me so.
Erin Ouellette as Black Stache, the incompetent leader of the pirates, was absolutely terrific. Her timing was a masterclass. Completely bewildered at all times, he/she remained in command somehow. It was hard to believe that this was the same actress who played a heart-breaking Elizabeth Proctor in the superb The Crucible that the Theatre Company did last year. There was also a wonderfully realized performance by Kyra Fitzgerald who played Molly Aster to perfection, including an English accent that was so detailed one began to believe the craziness of it all.
Cheers for the ease with which these young actors played. Really an inspiration!