Peter and the Starcatcher - May 07 - May 09, 2021

Munster High School

 End Notes 

Oh What a Year!

This certainly has been quite the year for the Munster Theatre Company.  Just over a year ago, with the pandemic only several weeks old, we converted our spring production of Much Ado About Nothing to a livestream event, the first in MTC history.  This fall, we collaborated with the Wilbur Wright Theatre Company to stream pre-recorded one-acts.  While still under the constraints of the pandemic, we lauched our inaugural short film showcase, featureing three films created by our middle and high school students.  We competed at Thespian Nation Live, our big state conference.  Over a dozen Thespy entries, with all ranking in the top two levels!  And now Peter and the Starcatcher.


This show was selected late last fall.  We were not sure what the pandemic would hold for us, so we wanted to wait and see what restrictions we might still be facing this spring.  It became clear that a live, in-person performance would not be safe or feasible, nor would the work of doing a full musical.  Given our tiny staff of three, the stresses of workng in a school during a pandemic, and the stresses that our students were working under as students, it became clear that this show was perfect:  It gave students a chance to do some musical work, while not being so much extra work that we would be in serious trouble if we had to quarantine.


I saw this show when it came through Chicago in 2014.  At that time, I knew it was a show I wanted to direct some day, and Black Stache is a role I hope to one day get to play!  But the outrageous characters, the constant wordplay humor, and the satire of British colonialism all resonated with me then.  They still do today, and I think that the satire especially is relevant given the racial struggles that are still prevalent in our society today.  Our students have had a tremendous opportunity to see how one can be critical of a topic through humor.  Often, it is laughter that can help us deal with the strain of the reality of the world.


I am thankful to everyone who has workd on this show.  Peggy Matanic, my "work wife" is always there to collaborate with, to offer a reassuring word, or to help mentor some of our students while I work with actors.  Luke McGinnis has been an outstanding partner in this show, bringing his audio editing skills to this production.  I am excited to collaborate with both of these talented arts educators in the future.


I am also grateful to the parents of those in the show.  They have placed their trust in me to develop their abilities to produce a show.  They ran lines, drove to school to drop off and pick up their children for rehearsals, and made sure that their children were on top of their work.  Without that partnership, the show really would not be as strong.  Parents take over as directors when their children leave the theatre!


Finally, to the cast and crews.  You all have become an amazing ensemble, one of the strongest I have had the pleasure to work with in my 17 years as a theatre educator!  Cherish this show, and keep that same team mentality with you in future shows and endeavors.  And to our seniors in this show (Bradley, Ava, Ian, and Hunter):  Thank you for sharing your time and talents.  You all have been wonderful mentors to this cast, helping it to be one of the most fun groups I have had the joy to work with.  I have enjoyed every experience we have shared in MTC, and I hope that someday we get to work together again.  Who knows, maybe in a few years we mount a revival with this group--this time in front of a live audience!


--R. Palasz



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