The Northampton Arts Council is a city board and a non-profit organization whose goal is to support and promote the arts in Northampton. Originally created as a Local Arts Lottery Council, it began its work by administering a grants program in which proceeds from a state lottery are distributed to local artists, arts groups, and public schools.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ at Williston Theater


‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ at Williston Theater
April 27 to 29, and May 4 to 6 at 7:30 p.m

Peter and the Starcatcher unfolds the origin story of Peter Pan, and in doing so, invites theater-goers to join a heroic journey. The Williston Northampton School’s theater program presents the play April 27 to 29, and May 4 to 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at www.williston.com/theater and go on sale on April 1. They cost $10 general admission and $7 for students and seniors.

The young adult book on which this play is based was co-written by humorist Dave Barry, and the play offers contemporary jokes and is told in a tongue-in-cheek style, said Williston Theater Director Emily Ditkovski. The Broadway production of Peter and the Starcatcher was nominated for a Tony award for best play in 2016.

According to Ditkovski, the play explores the often-dark path to find one’s best self. “There is no straight trajectory. The messiness of the journey is really important,” she said. “But that best self is there. It’s findable.”

Two main characters, the unnamed 13-year-old orphan, Boy, who eventually becomes Peter Pan, and Molly, also 13, each find their way past obstacles in a Neverland with a playful feel. “The story is told as a child would tell it,” Ditkovski said. Molly is a strong female heroine. “Without her, Peter has no mission,” Ditkovski said. “She’s strong and smart and she knows it. This has alienated her along the way. But she ends up saving the day.”

There are pirates, orphans, Brits, and mythical sea creatures interacting on a set that includes creative special effects—a mermaid’s glowing tail, scenery on wheels, lots of “starstuff.” Students are helping stitch the costumes.

Ditkovski said the play resonates for people because that journey to find the self is universal and because adolescents, especially, can have a hard time being true to themselves amid competing identities and ideas of who they should be. What Peter is presenting is a way toward one’s truth. “That message is really important for people at any age,” she said. “It makes you stronger.”


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