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Build the wall, or end Well Fare. Either one will work for me...

Pan prequel: Peter and the Starcatcher tells origin story

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Actors rehearse for Peter and the Starcatcher at ECU on Oct. 10, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Macken­zie Tewks­bury
The Daily Re­flec­tor

Friday, October 12, 2018

Imagine, if you will ...

A mermaid,

A crocodile,

A flock of yellow birds,

An island, 

and Tinkerbell

In a prequel to the famous story of Peter Pan.

“Who doesn’t want to know where Peter Pan came from?” said Patch Clark, director of ECU’s Loessin Playhouse production of “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

Clark said the audience plays an equally important role in the production as they will be encouraged to tap into their own imaginations during the performance.

“The audience has to imagine doors and windows and islands and ships and all kinds of things. The audience is key in this production,” she said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for actors and designers and the audience to use imagination to bring the story to life.”

The story, without giving away too many spoilers, is about where Peter Pan came from and chronicles the story before the original 1911 story began, according to Clark. There are many of the same characters, but some of them take on different names — Captain Hook is known as Stache and Wendy is named Molly.

“It’s adventurous  and swashbuckling and music and dancing,” she said. “It’s everything you can imagine.”

The play, originally set for a Sept. 22 opening date, had a few stops and starts, Patch said. Hurricane Florence hit eastern North Carolina in the middle of their rehearsals and created challenges for the team, but Clark said it didn’t stop them from creating a memorable show.

“We were right in the middle of rehearsal ... and there’s a storm scene in the play. We have that one down really well,” Clark said with a laugh. “We’re excited to finally open the show.”

Clark, who is no stranger to the stage, has been directing Story Book theatre at ECU for nearly 20 years. She has  acquired many awards for her accomplishments throughout her career.

 Theatre has also taken her across the globe —– to Poland, Japan and beyond. To Clark, theatre is about storytelling — something she believes is one of the most important things a society can continue to do.

“I think it lifts people up out of any kind of challenge or sadness they might be going through,” she said. “I think it brings an audience together to share collective moment that’s creative and can really communicate a message.”

Clark said she hopes Peter and the Starcatcher will help lift the audience up and communicate a message of goodness.

“I hope they will see the wonderful theme in this story: the theme of hope and that everybody can be a starcatcher,” she said. “Everybody can reach out and hold on to all the things that are good in life.

“Right now, there are so many challenges in the world, being able to hold on to what is good and what is hopeful is really important.,” Clark said.

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