Sunday, August 9, 2020
‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ Offers Dramatic Telling of How Peter Pan Came to Be
Charlie Coulter, who starred as Uncle Fester in St. Thomas Playhouse’s “The Addams Family,” will play Peter Pan in “Peter and the Starcatcher.”
Wednesday, February 12, 2020


Peter Pan may have had his genesis in the Neverland of J.M. Barrie’s imagination. But it was Hailey detective novelist Ridley Pearson who imagined how Peter came to be.

Pearson co-authored the book “Peter and the Starcatcher” with humor columnist Dave Barry after Pearson’s daughter asked him where Peter Pan came from.

The story sat atop the New York Times Bestseller list for 47 weeks and then made its way to Broadway and five Tony Awards.

Sun Valley Community School Players will bring the play to the Sun Valley Community School stage Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 13-15. The play starts at 7 p.m. each night.

The play, staged by company of Fools in 2014, provides the backstory to Peter Pan and other characters like Mrs. Darling, Tinker Bell and Hook.

In this telling, a young orphan named Boy and his mates are shipped from Victorian England to an island ruled by an evil king. With them is a fearless girl named Molly, who is protecting a mysterious trunk in the captain’s cabin. It contains star stuff, a celestial substance so powerful it would be disastrous if it fell  into the wrong hands.

But—uh oh—the fearsome pirate Black Stache is determined to claim the treasure for his own.

Chock full of pirates, kings and queens, mermaids and jungle tyrants, it explores the depths of greed and despair and friendships, duty and love.

“The play gives us the origin story of one of our most beloved fairy tales and really digs into the psychology behind these famous characters in hilarious and gritty ways,” said Director Kevin Wade, co-director of the school’s Creative Arts Academy.

Nearly 30 Upper School students are involved with the production, either on stage or behind the scenes. The actors were tasked not only with multiple roles but with creating the architecture, soundscape and special effects behind the production, which features a set design by Jamey Reynolds and lighting design by Upper School student Gabe Delgado.

“The story is told at break-neck speed and with great physical dexterity. Beyond that it is a piece that challenges us to think about what is important in our lives, what our hopes, dreams and desires are. It challenges us to find grace and compassion for our fellow human beings and it reminds us that love is a powerful force for good in the world,” Wade added.

The cast features Shea Brokaw as Black Stache, Charlie Coulter as Peter and Julia Ott as Molly Aster.

Other cast members are Paola Alvarado, Etienne Blumberg, Niki Cohen, Emma Desserault, Norah Dowdle, Rye Fruehling, Luc Gilbreath, Tallulah Gilbreath, Brady Giles, Sophie Harder, Imogen Harris, Paris Himmelman, Ethan Hunt, Beatrice Kelly, Bella Maurtua, Priya Merchant, Jasper Mott, Bridgette Silva, Sheady Slanetz and Thea Todd.

Laine Allison and Sophia Sturgeon act as primary musicians and singers with Paris Himmelman and Norah Dowdle in the role of supporting musicians.

 Tickets are $6 for students and $12 for adults, available at and at the door.


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