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Starcatching in Sherborn

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By Maria Makredes
Hometown Weekly Correspondent

Dover-Sherborn Summer Drama presented “Peter and the Starcatcher” from August 22-25 at the Sherborn Community Center. If they endeavored to catch stars and present them, then they did so in fine form, via a nearly two-hour production. Students from rising seventh graders to rising seniors participated in the program, run by the Dover-Sherborn Community Education Program.

Aza Whittlesey as Molly Aster.

Aza Whittlesey as Molly Aster.

Sophie Charron, a student director soon to enter college, explained that the show explores the origins of Peter Pan - how orphans and a regular British girl named Molly Aster become the crew that becomes Peter Pan, growing in courage and confidence by the show’s end.

While the show is a play, the cast considers it as a “musi-play,” or hybrid of the pure play and musical theater formats, since it does include a few songs. Allowing the students to show different dimensions of their creative capabilities stretches their talents, in every good way.

Because the show is lengthy, the two cast members playing the role of Peter on alternating nights confessed that the role challenged them to learn more lines than they had ever learned. But in the end, they accomplished the feat, living up to the Peter Pan ideal.

Bradley Hodson-Walker, who played Peter in the Thursday and Saturday evening performances, was glad to have had the experience of working on the show, as it was a meaningful way to spend his free time in the summer. Cooper Gardner, who played the lead role in the Wednesday and Friday evening performances, encouraged students to get involved in theater, even if unsure of what to expect, as there is much to be gained.

Interestingly, Cooper’s thoughts on theater invoke the very evolution traced by the play itself, from uncertainty to confidence. In the fall, Cooper himself will enter Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick to concentrate on acting.

The Dover-Sherborn Summer Drama, started by Director Scott Walker 11 years ago due to student interest, is a six-week program, for three days per week, and is almost like a camp, exposing young people to theater without having to take time from school. Participants play improv games, and everyone involved shares what they know about acting.

This year, Walker decided to take on the very modern prequel to “Peter Pan,” in a show that only came off Broadway just a few years ago.

In sum, this creative, original, and funny piece, as presented by Dover-Sherborn Summer Drama, took flight, to the delight of audiences.

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