Theater department ready to share the magic of ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’

A hand-painted set and intricate costumes take the stage Oct. 17


Jose Fabian - The State Hornet

Costume assistant, Miles Meckling, works on sewing cord together to create a river to be used on stage. This river is part of a set design for ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ that includes a stage painted entirely by hand.

Jose Fabian

With a stage painted entirely by hand and mermaid tails made of foldable fans, the visuals of “Peter and the Starcatcher” help set the tone for the prequel story to Peter Pan.

“Peter and the Starcatcher” is the next Sacramento State theater production, directed by Michelle Felten that began Oct. 17.

The play, written by Rick Elice, tells the story of how Peter, “a lost orphan boy, gets his name, learns how to fly and ends up in Neverland [where] he spends the rest of his days fighting a pirate called Captain Hook,” Felten said.

Jan Johnston, the play’s costume designer, has been behind many of the production’s different sets of costumes that help set the visuals for the play.

“There are pirates, sea captains and mermaids,” Johnston said. “Many of the characters dress up as mermaids, and that’s a fun number.”

According to Miles Meckling, a costume assistant, the mermaid tails were created by decorating fans. The fans were then glued in order to keep them open. Once the fans were glued, they were attached to the end of some fabric as to represent the tail of a mermaid.

“I hand painted one of the fans in an ombre pattern,” Meckling said. “From there, we added some shiny stuff to give it that kind of magical, mysterious vibe.”  

One of the tails will stretch about 18 feet, said Meckling.

Monique Crawford, who is playing Molly, enjoys the wardrobe details.

“I’m really excited just for my general outfit,” said Crawford. “She has so many layers, and it’s not anything you get to wear now-a-days. It really helps put me back in the time.”

Charley Stephenson, who plays Peter, also appreciates the realism put into the time period of the play.

“I really like the time period,” said Stephenson. “It’s set in 1885, and I get to wear the little paper boy hat and suspenders, it makes it a little more real.”

The set of “Peter and the Starcatcher” has a staircase that will eventually be removed so that a “slide-down pole” can be used for “drama and quick entrances,” Felten said.

The stage also has several platforms, one of which is 6 feet tall.

“That will help our actors have different levels and enhance the story telling,” Felten said.

All of the painting on set was done by hand. “We have the words of the story of Peter Pan on the set, and we’re sort of honoring Peter Pan and the original story,” Felten said.

“It’s kind of a mosh posh of a lot of different styles all in one play,” Crawford said, “There should be something for everybody in it.”

Tickets are $18 for general admission and $15 for students.