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Fall show tells origin story of Peter Pan

The Providence Players are ready to entertain audiences with the fall show Peter and the Starcatcher, which debuts this weekend. The play is a prequel to the story of Peter Pan and is a playful coming-of-age tale that explores a variety of themes, from friendship and duty to greed and despair. The lead actors are particularly looking forward to entertaining audiences with the storybook theatre-style drama and its larger-than-life characters.

Senior Eli Lucas plays Black Stache (later known as Captain Hook). After playing several dramatic roles, he is happy to be back playing a comedic one, he said.

“It has rejuvenated me for the season, and I love that about this character,” he said.

His character is somewhat complex, and Eli has had to work to find the balance “between his soft side, his harder side, and his flamboyant side – all in two hours,” he said. “It’s been a phenomenal challenge. I love it.”

Black Stache points to the sky as Smee tries to follow his gaze.

Senior Andrew Bittenbender plays Black Stache’s sidekick, Smee, another comedic role. Andrew said one of his favorite things about the role was acting alongside Eli again. He also enjoys how his character may not be very smart, but he still does his best to support Black Stache.

“Smee is silly,” he said. “He gives it his all even though he’s not the brightest guy, and that leads to a lot funny moments.”

Senior Brady Gentry plays Peter and enjoys portraying such a dynamic character, he said. He is a bit like Peter in that he is a child at heart, but the role is still challenging.

Peter and Black Stache battle in “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

“The transition from a lonely, hardened orphan boy to a hero is such a beautiful process,” he said. “The most challenging part of bringing Peter to life is the loneliness aspect of Peter. Peter is homeless, friendless, and nameless at the beginning. I have been blessed with an amazing family, directors, and castmates who will support me and help me become the best performer I can be, which makes the loneliness aspect the most challenging part.”

Senior Mary Claire Natalie plays the part of Molly Aster (who becomes Mrs. Darling). She said she likes her character because she is different from other female leads she has portrayed, who is both sweet and feminine while also being strong and fearless.

Black Stache lets his captive, Molly, go to Peter.

“[She is] a young girl who is independent, ambitious, and brave,” she said. “Throughout the show Molly falls in love and learns to be a leader.”

Senior Austin Bowles plays Lord Aster, Molly’s father. Lord Aster is a much different character than any Austin has played, he said, and it required watching a lot of British television to get his British accent down. But he is happy for one long-term benefit from playing an English gentleman because it has helped him improve his posture since he must stand still with a straight back.

“I have to be prim and proper and hold a stiff face,” he said. “But even though he’s polite, he doesn’t take any insults.”

Eli said that audiences will enjoy how the show covers many emotions, from laughter to tears, in a touching coming-of-age story that “invites audiences to enjoy a night of magic and wonder. After all, to have faith is to have wings – and you may just see a bit of flying in this show.”

Mary Claire said the talent of the tech crew allows the audience to feel the magical quality of the show. And audiences will enjoy being able to “use their imaginations and really feel a part of the show. The show is very heartwarming yet also very funny, which audiences rarely see.”

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