Fredonia Theater Series

‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ opens on Oct. 20

Submitted Photo The Boy (Tyler Hecht), left, has the attention of both Black Stache (Jeff Kringer) and Molly (Carly Censi) in “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

A Tony Award-winning Broadway hit will be the first offering in the 2017-18 Walter Gloor Mainstage Series at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

The Department of Theatre and Dance presents six performances of “Peter and the Starcatcher” from Oct. 20 to 28 in Marvel Theatre on the Fredonia campus. Performance dates and times Oct. 20 at 8 p.m., Oct. 21, 26, 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. Dr. James Ivey is the director.

“Peter and the Starcatcher” was a major hit of the 2012 Broadway season, earning five Tony Awards, including Best Featured Actor, Best Scenic Design and Best Costume Design.

The play was written by Rick Elice and is based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. It tells how a lonely orphan became Peter Pan, the iconic “Lost Boy” that millions know and love.

It explores the bonds of friendship, duty and love in a world of marauding pirates and jungle tyrants.

“Everyone knows Peter Pan, but we don’t know how Peter Pan became the legend that he is today. Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s books serve as a ‘prequel’ to the story of Peter, Captain Hook and Neverland in a comic and entertaining way,” Dr. Ivey said. “Rick Elice’s play with music (based upon those books) is a heartwarming and entertaining evening for the entire family. This is an evening or afternoon in the theater that should not be missed.”

Knowing “Peter Pan,” is not necessary, Dr. Ivey said. There are, however, many allusions to J.M. Barrie’s classic story as the characters develop in this play.

“The plot is cleverly told as an orphan boy becomes Peter Pan, Black Stache becomes the notorious Captain Hook, and the legend of the Lost Boys of Neverland is masterfully created,” Dr. Ivey said.

More than 60 students are involved in bringing this production to the stage.

“Thirteen student actors are in the play with the part of Molly Aster being double-cast,” Dr. Ivey said. “The cast is comprised of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Approximately 50 students are engaged in mounting the production from behind the scenes. There is lots of building in all of our shops.”

The highlights of the Mainstage production are many, according to the director.

“Twelve actors play over 100 parts in a story-theater style as the stage transforms into ships, jungles, mountains and the sea,” Dr. Ivey said. “The ‘Mermaid’ song at the beginning of Act Two is worth the price of admission alone.”

Faculty member Dixon Reynolds serves as the costume designer while Bridget Catania, a theatre student, is the scenic designer. Don Rebic is the music director.

Dr. Ivey describes “Peter and The Starcatcher” as “a life-affirming play that will lift our hearts and tickle our funny bones.”

“As always, we hope that audiences will be thoroughly entertained, but they should also hear a distinctive message of faith,” the director said. “Molly remarks to Peter that, ‘to have faith, is to have wings.’ Audiences will definitely feel the positive force of good in the play with sweet and endearing instruction.”

“Peter and the Starcatcher” is sponsored by Niebel Realty as part of the Lake Shore Savings Season.

Tickets are available through the Campus Ticket Office in the Williams Center, by phone at 673-3501 or online at