Mountain Pointe Theatre

Mountain Pointe Theatre actors Phoenix Torres, 14, left, and Drew Stanek, 15, rehearse their roles as Smee and Captain Stache, respectively, during a recent rehearsal for “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

The Mountain Pointe Theatre Company is kicking off its 2019-20 theater season with a 2009 play highlighting the backstory of four of the beloved main characters in the classic “Peter Pan.”

“Peter and the Starcatcher” – based on a 2004 novel about Peter Pan, Mrs. Darling, Tinker Bell and Captain Hook – will be presented at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, and at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Mountain Pointe High, 4201 Knox Road, Ahwatukee.

When it debuted in Chicago, a Chicago Tribune theater critic called the play “a potent exploration of the loneliness of the orphan, a kind of tacit explanation of why so many great children’s books follow the fortunes of courageous kids who somehow have found themselves on Earth without parents to kiss them good night. Such kids have sorrows, but they also learn self-reliance and embrace adventure.”

Director and drama department chief Kimberly Bonagofski calls the play “fun,” saying she chose it as the first production of the new school year because “the creativity behind the script is out of this world and challenging.”

“I like shows that challenge me as a director which also challenges the students,” she said.

While “gathering the costumes has been a challenge due to the time period,” Bonagofski said, they are unique in this play. “We are renting, borrowing, making and buying the costumes.”

She also says the talented student body cast is rising to the challenge of the script.

“The process has been fun and the kids’ energy is overcoming any type of challenges.” 

But the acting isn’t the only thing to take notice of, the set is even more astounding.

“The set is amazing,” she said. “We have two pirate ships cut in half on stage. It’s pretty impressive what our students have created.

“Our students build our sets, so to look at it and think, ‘Wow, my students are rockstars!’  The set is multiple levels, with things to climb on and many moving props.”

Bonagofski says the theater company has a busy season planned, with “Dracula: The Bloody Truth” planned Nov. 1 and 2; “A Christmas Story” Dec. 6 and 7; “Of Mice and Men” Feb. 14 and 15; and “Young Frankenstein: The Musical” April 3 and 4. The thespians also will be presenting their annual Halloween show.

“We are in a rebuilding year but the energy these incoming students and our returning students have is one we have not had in a while,” Bonagofski said. “So we are excited to see the energy they get on stage.”

Stage managers for “Peter” are Lexi Artusa-Sirota and Kyla Marcelin and the technical director is Alayjia Marcelin.

The cast includes Chase Carter, Tyler Aicard, Molly Aster, Ireland Hanrahan, A’shayla Anderson, Addison Harvey, Drew Stanek, Trevor Stout, Phoenix Torres, Alayjia Marcelin, Cassie Presume,  Cameron Burns, Connor Murry, Chandler Hathaway, Andre Presume, McKenna Fowler, Jeremiah Suiter, Tyreq Daniels, Constance Kelly, Taylor Simmons, Damya Collins and Aliciya Williams.

The crew includes Taylor Simmons, Trinity Alvarez, Emilia Robertson, Prima Fri, Zarkeyiah Kuykendall, Skyler Sondoval, Katherine Pope-Keegan, Julianne Porter, Aliciya Williams, Kylie Baman, Constance Kerry, Alayjia Marcelin, Rebecca Jacobs, Essence Lewis, Damya Thompson, Kiani Laroya.

Also on crew are Tyreq Daniels, Skyy Ferguson, Henok Amen, Trevor Perry, Jaden Carter, Breyona Owens, Teresa Chavez, Amiko Valenzuela, Christopher Burns and Kyra Deeney.

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