If your sports teams let you down this weekend, it’s time to escape and enjoy some theatre magic! Chattahoochee High School’s (CHS) drama department has just the answer for you this Thursday and Saturday with two One Act performances. And by doing so, you will gain new insight into the world of Peter Pan! The first, Peter and the Starcatcher is based on the children’s book by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson and freely adapted for the stage by Rick Elice. The play provides the backstory for the characters of Peter Pan, Mrs. Darling, Tinker Bell and Hook.  Dozens of characters sailors, pirates, British naval officers, Mollusk natives and orphans fill the stage. Joey Ross, sophomore at CHS, plays Peter Pan. A regular in local community theatre productions, he finds theatre the perfect answer to relieving day to day stresses. He is also confident that the script’s jokes and numerous nods to pop culture, will have the audience loving the adventure of the how his character became the strange and celebrated hero that is known as the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up. Savannah Richard, junior, plays the pirate Black Stachewho is looking for a great hero so he can become a great villain (e.g., Captain Hook). Richard believes that the audience will certainly pick up on the great fun the cast has had rehearsing this show.

The second one-act, Lost Boy, will be CHS’s entry in this year’s Georgia High School Association One-Act regional competition later this month. Written by Ronald Gabriel Paolillo, the fictionalized account of the birth of Peter Pan is actually a heartwarming story of the original Peter Pan author, James M Barrie.  The play confronts his family’s tragic past with the help of an unexpected friendship and his own storytelling ability.  Garrett Butler, senior, participated in last year’s One Act competition and earned All Star Cast recognition during the regional competition. He loves theatre, and also hopes to continue in theatrical performances when he pursues his degree in computer science next year. In addition to his role in the play, he also tried his hand as assistant director for Peter and the StarcatcherKaedy Bornstein, junior, also a regular on both CHS and community theatre stages, plays Maureen O’Rourke, now married to the bully who had haunted James during his childhood. Bornstein especially enjoys the one-act theatre competition season, knowing that the actors will be focus placing all of their emotions and energies into one piece of art, with the goal of “making it enjoyable for someone else to watch”.  he thinks this piece will provide theatre patrons a lot to think about in their own lives, while also thinking about Peter Pan himself in a different way.  Summer Gomez, sophomore, tried out one-act competition for the first time last year. She is excited this year to play “Mother Margaret” the mother of James. She particularly likes complex roles where she can “pick apart the character’s brains and make them her own”. She thinks the community will be surprised by the dark undertones presented in the play instead of the usual fun and lightness of the Peter Pan character many have seen portrayed by Disney. “Many may find the ending quite emotional”, she adds.

Haley Walter, Drama teacher is very proud to be directing these shows. It is her 5th year at Chattahoochee High School and she loves being around this amazing, supportive arts community. She is confident that audience members will enjoy the evolution of Peter Pan between the two stories. "I picked these shows knowing that the two words “Peter Pan” will turn patrons back into kids again, whether we are fighting pirates, flying with the fairies, or following the lost boys, we get a sense of joy and wonderment”. She notes though that the fun and magical world of Neverland, both real and imaginary, did not come without strife. In both stories, the characters struggle with a painful past that fuels them to change. Peter finds his purpose and Barrie finds closure. Walter encourages the community to support her budding thespians, and suspend belief of reality to journey with them on their path of self-discovery (and Neverland). Walter is also grateful for the outstanding support from the crew members, who are under the direction of Jennie Fabianski, Technical Theatre Director.

Showtimes are Thursday, October 17 and Saturday, October 19 at 7:00 p.m. with matinee on Saturday, October 19 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door or online at https://hoochtheatre.weebly.com/shows.html.  

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