Peter and the Starcatcher felt a lot like a children’s theater production cast with all adults. This choice was made very deliberately as this is the prequel to the infamous tale about staying a child forever, Peter Pan. Whimsical youthful energy radiated off of the minimally designed set that seamlessly transitioned from a pirate ship, to a sea, to an island, and then back again thanks to the people all dressed as children and pirates on stage who drove this adventure to where it needed to go.
There was a very clear lack of fourth wall throughout this production, thanks to the set designer for not installing it. The actors took full advantage of this, and it was hilarious. One thing audiences like is to feel like they’ve been transported elsewhere, and when you give them hints that they’re still where they were before the show began, it messes with their brains, and they laugh. It’s a hidden secret to comedy that everyone involved fully understood.
Actors, ropes, lighting, and clever design made for the majority of the set. A line of actors facing the back can either be a line of people all doing the same thing, or they can be a hallway of doors on the bottom deck of a ship. A rope strung three feet horizontally above the ground can either be a tripping hazard, or it can be a handrailing for a flight of stairs. The decision to go about creating set pieces this way was similar to how a child builds a fort in their living room out of whatever is available. Almost nostalgic.
Nostalgia is an emotion they dealt well throughout the play. Reminding the audience of the innocence, and the naivety that one once has as a child through the mistakes, and the easy light demonstrated in the story. It had a bit of optimism throughout the entire story, and it felt good to see, as right now in the world there are planes going awry, and the very definition of what a line is being questioned.
Peter and the Starcatcher captured the essence of being a child, and answered any questions you might have had about the origins of your friend Peter Pan while telling it through a progressive, modern way that could be appreciated by an adult.