The student news site of Lancaster High School

Eye of the Gale

The student news site of Lancaster High School

Eye of the Gale

The student news site of Lancaster High School

Eye of the Gale

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Peter Pan Backstory Comes to Life

First LHS drama club performance explains it all
Cast members rehearse a scene in the play, “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

The first drama club performance of the 2023-2024 school year had its grand debut Peter and the Starcatcher in late November. The Lancaster High School Drama director and members of the theater team report that the play was an overwhelming success and that the audience reacted well to its comedy. 

The play, Peter and the Starcatcher is a five-time Tony-winning Broadway hit that tells the story of the beloved children’s fairy tale, “Peter Pan,” according to the The American Shakespeare Center. The center said the script brings to life the heart-warming story of how Neverland and Peter Pan came to be.

Mara Kuroiwa who played Peter, and the director Mr. Metzger were new to the LHS’s theater club. One viewer said she was curious to see how the performance would go. 

LHS students Josalyn Crumet and Layla Clark after the performance. Photo courtesy of Clark.

“Before finding out what it was going to be about I was a little on the sketchy side with the director being new, having a new student as the lead role, and I had never heard of Peter and the Starcatcher before. Upon learning from the main character Mara (Peter) what the basis of the play was about I was intrigued and wanted to see it,” said viewer Layla Clark.

Peter Pan is a well-known children’s story, but not everyone knows the backstory. A few viewers said learning about Peter Pan was something they were excited to see play out on stage. 

“It was interesting because it was almost like a prequel to the original story of Peter Pan,” said viewer Lucy Savage.

LHS teacher Jennifer Spiegel.

“It was neat how they explained why things are the way they are in the story of Peter Pan that we all know,” said LHS teacher Jennifer Spiegel. 

The play featured aspects of both comedy and drama, and viewers said they enjoyed the story portrayal, characters, and general performance. 

“My favorite part of the play is Molly’s character and how she has ‘love for all god’s creatures.’ It was hilarious to see one of my close friends Josalyn scream about piggies and flying cats,” said Clark.

“I liked the singing and the overall story. The pirates were really funny. All of the characters were good,” Spiegel said.

LHS freshman Lucy Savage. Photo courtesy of Savage.

“Any part with the nanny (played by Riley Semmens) in it was my favorite, her acting was really good, and she was really funny. I also enjoyed watching Peter and Molly’s performance,” Savage said. 

The actors said they had a great time on stage. Two theater club members said that they were nervous but in the end were proud of how well the play was performed.

Peter and the Starcatcher was a harder play from what we’ve picked from previous years, with a huge transition of a new director and losing many seniors. I thought it was going to be rough, but it went so much more smoothly than anyone would have expected. I think the play really reflects that,” said actor Maddison West, who played the villain Black Stache. 

She said her inspiration for the character came from the popular villain, Joker of the 1992-95 Batman animated series. The suggestion to play The Stache like this was recommended by Metzger.

LHS sophomore Lilee Byers, who played a mermaid in the play, agreed with the mustached actor about the play’s success. She and West said they enjoyed acting on the stage. 

“Everyone had a great time. Being able to bring entertainment to people through something I enjoy is a pleasure,” said Byers. 

LHS senior Madison West portrayed as Black Stache.

“When I am on stage, I really do feel amazing; it’s a feeling that I can’t replicate anywhere else. I feel alive, and I forget everything else other than the laughs around me,” West said

Well before acting on the stage, actors have to prepare both physically and mentally backstage. Make-up from cosmetology, quick costume changes, and constant cues are consistent during show performances. Actors in the play said they learned from the experience. 

LHS sophomore Lilee Byers as a mermaid. Photo courtesy of the drama club.

“During the next performance I’ll probably focus on being in the moment. Being on stage can be stressful, but it’s also a very rewarding experience and I hope I can focus on that in the future,” said Byers.

“My biggest concern after that Saturday performance was my voice, as I’ve slowly been losing it during show week. So I concentrated on resting and preparing for the next day,” said West.

While watching actors live on stage may be very entertaining to watch there are many other duties being performed behind the stage such as lighting and sound that are integral to the successfulness of the entire play. 

“I want to give a shout out to Rhyse. She learned everything in one week. The crew was a pleasure. Our stage managers backstage were Aric, Rose, Samson, who helped me get into my beautiful stache, and Ryan Durbin, our new projections leader,” said West.

Byers agreed and said that she is grateful for the crew working backstage.

“The crew was amazing as always. They always work so hard to make us look and sound amazing and I can definitely say that the whole cast is very thankful for the crew we have,” she said.

Lighting director Rhyse Kraner. Photo courtesy of Rhyse.

Lighting director Rhyse Kraner said that although the outcome of the play was very good, there is always room for improvement.

“My role as being the lighting director was designing all of the lights that were shown on stage and the timing of all them. I also worked the lighting board which controlled all of my queues for when to turn the lights on. If I were to design the lights for the next show, I would improve the quality of design, meaning the colors, placement, and timing, ” said Kraner. 

Metzger said that being new to LHS, he wanted to present something special for his debut performance. 

Drama teacher Christopher Metzger. Photo courtesy of Metzger.

“It’s always challenging being the new guy.  I wanted to do something that was representative of my background but challenging and fun for both the audience and the cast and crew.  I’m grateful that I could step into a program that has love from the school, students, and community, and has received overwhelming support,” the director said. 

Metzger went on to praise everyone who collaborated on the show.
“I thought the performance went very well!  Our tech team was fighting a few challenges, but they made it look and sound beautiful.  The cast was excited and worked very well as an ensemble to tell the story with passion and humor.  I couldn’t have hoped for better,” he said.

“The highlights of the performance, for me, were when the whole cast was on stage telling the story together.  Those moments, though not always the funniest, really had some power behind them. I’m also always fond of the fight scenes, too,” said Metzger.

More to Discover