Valley High School's musical 'Peter & the Starcatcher' to be streamed online

Brian C. Rittmeyer, The Valley News-Dispatch, Tarentum, Pa.
·4 min read

Apr. 13—The audience was limited for the two performances of Valley High School's spring musical, but that doesn't mean everyone won't get a chance to see it.

The drama club's production of the Peter Pan origin story "Peter and the Starcatcher" was recorded and will be available for streaming at 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Streaming tickets cost $20, and are available online at vhsdrama.org/boxoffice. The full-length show runs a little under two hours, with an intermission.

Sales will help offset the costs of producing the show, said Brian Krugle of Penn Hills, musical producer and drama club sponsor.

"I think it's worth it," said senior Marco Vigilante, 18, of New Kensington, who portrays Black Stache — the character who eventually becomes Captain Hook. "It's a show that no one has ever really seen before. It's something new, it's something interesting. You'll have to try it out."

For those who know the story of Peter Pan, "Peter and the Starcatcher" fills in the background about how Peter became who he is, said junior Rachel Schrock, 17, of New Kensington, who plays Molly Aster.

"You don't get to see much live theater recently, or in a long time. It's something fun to do," she said. "It's a really interesting show, and I think people are really going to like it."

Only those from the households of the 19-member cast were able to attend the performances in-person at the Valley High School auditorium on April 9 and 10. Streaming opens it to a wider audience, Krugle said.

"If you have family who is not in the area, they can see it," he said. "It's open to anybody who may be interested in seeing the show."

For Vigilante, who has been doing musicals since sixth grade, performing before a smaller audience was a little more difficult than a full auditorium.

"With the smaller amount of people all spread out, I could see who specifically was who. In a big sea of people, you can't really tell who was who or people's reactions," he said. "With just a small group of people, I could see where my parents were sitting and the parents of my friends. It made me a little nervous."

No musical was held last spring because of the covid pandemic — production of "Newsies" was halted, Krugle said.

"We were two or three weeks out from opening when we had to shut down," he said. "We were three months into rehearsals at that point. The kids were all pretty upset. It was another thing in the list of things they didn't get to do last year."

The cast for "Newsies" was large, around 125 students, including a handful of students from other districts, Krugle said.

"We tried to postpone a couple of times, but it just became clear that it wasn't going to happen," he said.

Schrock said she was very sad that they didn't get to have the musical last year.

"The people that were in it were so good. Everyone was really into that show," she said. "When the seniors left and didn't get to do it, it crushed all of us."

Vigilante noticed other schools canceling their musicals again this year. "I felt pretty lucky to be able to perform one last time," he said.

"Peter and the Starcatcher" was chosen for this spring because it has a much smaller cast, Krugle said.

"It was important to us to be able to do something for the kids this year," he said. "The administration had been really good with working with us to make sure we were able to do something."

After students auditioned in person one at a time in November, rehearsals started remotely on Zoom in January, moving to small groups in person in February.

Krugle said the Drama Club usually does a play in the fall and a musical in the spring. No play was held this past fall, again because of the pandemic.

The club plans to produce Neil Simon's "Fools" in the fall and then bring back "Newsies" for the spring musical in 2022.

"We hope that next year we'll be able to produce both shows with as large an audience and cast as we can," Krugle said.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, brittmeyer@triblive.com or via Twitter .