Peter and the Starcatcher - November 01 - November 09, 2019

Rancho Buena Vista High

 End Notes 

"Notes from the Director"


"When I was a boy, I wished I could...." How would you complete this sentence? Sing? Escape? Create? How about fly?? Do you still wish those things or has your imagination been taken by the daunting and inevitable reality that comes with age? I was first drawn to this play simply because it requires the audience to use their imagination, which little is left to anymore. Directing teenagers, I have come to realize that their natural curiosities are slowly being taken away by the "knowledge" that is readily available at their fingertips. This show challenged them to think beyond the obvious, the realistic, the dramatic and form character relationships and environment through simple words and props. I invite you to ignite your once vibrant imaginations and let the perils of yesterday, today and tomorrow slip away. 


The first moments of Peter and the Starcatcher are an intentional ripoff of the first moments of Shakespeare’s Henry V. In Shakespeare’s play, a narrator enters and talks directly to the audience, first giving an apology and then making a request. He apologizes that a little group of actors in a converted bear-baiting pit are actually daring to tell the story of heroic battles between great nations. But then he pivots from the apology to the request with this crucial phrase: Let us on your imaginary forces work. As Shakespeare’s narrator continues, notice how directly our narrators’ language mimics his:


Henry V: Suppose within the girdle of these walls are now confined two mighty monarchies.

Peter and the Starcatcher: Supposing all these planks and ropes are now the British Empire.


Henry V: For ‘tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings, carry them here and there, jumping o’er times.

Peter and the Starcatcher: And use your thoughts to hoist the sails and deck the ships awaiting us this early, gray and misty dawn in 1885.


The biggest difference between our opening scene and Shakespeare’s, though, is that our script skips the apology. It’s the 21st century, and it is now possible to tell any story with a seemingly endless supply of practical and digital effects. Shouldn’t we apologize all the more for daring to tell Peter Pan’s origin story with nothing but a bunch of kids, a few platforms and ropes, ladders, some lighting instruments, and simple costumes? Where are the harnesses to make the actors fly? Is this a budget issue?


No. Peter and the Starcatcher is written to be played without special effects because in this age of screens wearing down our imaginary forces, we need more than ever to let live storytellers on our imaginary forces work. At its best, the theater creates a place where we can re-learn the unique sense of joy and possibility (talk about infinite content!) that only our imaginations can offer.


We invite you to dive in with your imagination and join our cast in remembering when you wished you could fly. If we all do our part - on stage, backstage, in the booth, and yes, in the audience - we won’t miss the harnesses.


Thank you to all of the wonderful actors and techs that helped make this production what it is. We spend thousands of hours to create art together and I am so happy to have you all as students at this time and at this place.

                                                                                        -Scott Di Lorenzo



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