Senior Derek Demlow and sophomore Emma Ilg portray a young Peter Pan and Molly Aster during a dress rehearsal this week for “Peter and the Starcatcher.”
NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE Enlarge
From Captain Hook and his crocodile adversary to a blossoming friendship between a young Peter Pan and the mother of Wendy, the Medina High School Drama Club is set to perform “Peter and the Starcatcher” tonight.
“It focuses on Peter and a couple other orphan boys and a young girl named Molly,” Ron Douglas, director and English teacher, said during Tuesday’s dress rehearsal. “They have an adventure with pirates on the high seas and then on the island that eventually becomes Neverland.”
Douglas said the performance will include special effects, several scene changes and a five-piece pit band to accompany the cast of 22 students.
Between the fantasy elements, music and numerous parts, “Peter and the Starcatcher” has been the most challenging play Douglas has been involved in, he said.
“Just making sure everybody knows where to go and looking natural whether they are swabbing the deck or hoisting some sails.”
Senior Derek Demlow plays the lead role of Peter, a part he won his first time trying out for a play.
“It’s insane,” Demlow said. “Being able to actually get the lead role is extremely gratifying. I am super excited for this.”
Demlow said he’s always had a passion for “putting himself out there and performing,” but hasn’t always known how to do that.
“I think my favorite part of this is taking on a character, something that you are not familiar with, and just going with it.”
The part of Molly Aster, the young girl who grows up to become the mother of Wendy, who befriends Peter in the book series by J.M. Barrie, is portrayed by senior Cameron Olin and sophomore Emma Ilg.
Olin will play the role for three performances and Ilg will takeover the part for the remaining two.
“Molly Aster is a 13-year-old girl and she is just the embodiment of childhood and the idea of a strong empowering female character,” Olin said.
Olin said one of her favorite aspects of playing Molly is the unique relationships the character develops with the Lost Boys.
One challenging aspect of the part is a scene where the script calls for Molly to speak in “Norse Code.”
On the other hand, Ilg said she has enjoyed the language aspects of the play, especially speaking with a British accent.
“It has been hard to perfect it, but it has been fun to enable this new character,” Ilg said of the accent.
While she has taken part in three of the school’s musical performances, Ilg said this will be her first time appearing in a traditional play.
“A lot of times I like to sing and that’s how I do my acting, through music,” she said. “It is kind of cool to be able to learn how to embody a character without music, but it has also been a challenge.”
Douglas said that while the play is family friendly, some of the special effects and scenes might be scary for young children.
“It is a story about growing up, courage, being a hero, gender equality and following your dreams,” Douglas said.
Contact reporter Nathan Havenner at (330) 721-4050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Medina High School Drama Club’s production of “Peter and the Starcatcher”
WHERE: Medina High School, Middle Stage, 851 Weymouth Road
WHEN: 7 p.m. today, Saturday and April 20-21 and 2 p.m. Sunday
TICKETS: $5 for students and $8 for adults, available at the door