Ongoing renovation at Asheville Community Theatre’s (ACT’s) Mainstage auditorium has led to a collaboration between ACT and UNC Asheville students in a production of Peter and the Starcatcher, directed by Chanda Calentine and running through April 15. Written by Rick Elice with music by Wayne Barker, this adventurous prequel to J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.
Robert Bowen, UNCA’s chair of drama, first proposed the idea of a collaboration. “Having ACT come into our space at the university required a lot of work in scheduling and resource allocation,” he says, “but it is always a pleasure to work with the wonderful people at ACT.”
In Asheville’s first production of the play, John Hall plays the villainous Black Stache. He commends the UNCA students for their “energy and commitment…humor and imagination.”
The show features 13 actors playing more than a hundred characters. “Audiences will adore Starcatcher,” predicts actor Mike Yow, “due to its imagination, its enchantment and its wonderfully clever humor.”
UNCA graduate Carina Lopez is costume designer for the production. “It has been an amazing experience to come back to my Alma Mater and work with the students,” she says. “This play is so fun and creative that it really stays true to the Peter Pan motto of never growing up.”
With the audience members seated around the stage on all sides, says Chloe Zeitounian, who plays Molly, “every moment comes to life in a three-dimensional way… in this genuine, heartfelt story.”
UNCA’s Carol Belk Theatre is located at 1 University Heights. Tickets are $22 (adults) $19 (seniors/students and $12 (under 17). Reserve online at ashevilletheatre.org or purchase at the ACT box office, 35 East Walnut Street, or by calling 828.254.1320. Performances are Thursday–Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m.