Queen’s Court Company Brings Its “Starstuff” to Stage

By Gabriella Sorrentino, Staff Writer

The Queen’s Court Company debuted its fall play, Peter and the Starcatcher, to a full house at the Brookdale Performing Arts Center on Friday, Nov. 9, and concluded on Saturday, Nov. 10 with matinee and evening showings.

The production, brought to life by the Queen’s Court cast and crew, took the audience on a journey of the story behind the beloved childhood tale of Peter Pan.It was a twist on ‘Peter Pan’, and I love that story so much. It made me so happy to have answers as to why he was who he was. It was fun and nostalgic,” director Ellen Phillips said.

Full of laughter and heart, the Queen’s Court Company produced a fantastical show with a story that spoke to the child in everyone. One major theme, home, not only resonated with members of the audience, both young and old, but also with the senior students who will soon be moving on from their Queen’s Court “home.”

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The Queen’s Court Company staged Peter and the Starcatcher on Nov. 9 and 10 at Brookdale Community College. (Photo by Isabella Giallanza)

“[The theatre program] has been my second home since I first stepped foot into auditions in 2016,” senior Anna Phillips said. “When I think of home, I think of a place where I know that I am surrounded by love and support, and that’s what the Queen’s Court Company has been for me. They have built me up into the confident performer I am today.”

Anna Phillips, who portrayed Black Stache, who later becomes known as the infamous Captain Hook, is one of many seniors who played a role in the fall production. Senior Abigail Devine performed as Molly, the heroine of the story aided by her quick wit and courageous spirit; senior Grace Niro played Ted, an endearing food-obsessed lost boy with an intense love for sticky pudding; and senior Sophia Church portrayed Mrs. Grempkin, Peter’s orphanage schoolmaster, as well as a narrator whose steady voice led the audience until the end of the play.

Phillips also doubled as artistic designer on the production staff, alongside two other senior crew members. Senior Diana Ramos ran hair and makeup for the production, while senior Niyah Robinson was joined by junior Patti Frees as student leaders in the costume department.

“Diana really put so much effort into the play. She gave all of us suggestions for every cast member’s hair, and she was such an amazing asset to our crew,” sophomore Isabella Giallanza said.

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(From L to R) Dianna W., Abigail D. and Faith K. perform in Peter and the Starcatcher at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft on Nov. 10. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Whelan)

Each senior brought a unique talent to the production, and their leadership and contributions were instrumental to the play’s success.

“It really was a group effort. We looked at a lot of videos of other schools who put on the production for inspiration but ultimately it was all of our ideas that we put into drawings and tweaked over and over again to finally come up with a design that worked,” junior Jane Banahan said. “We knew that there would definitely be changes along the way. Changes, while they are a given in the creative process of putting on a successful production, are definitely challenging, especially when time constraints are present.”

Despite any anxieties, however, the perseverance and positivity exhibited by the cast and crew ensured the quality of the final product.

“We really needed everyone to put this incredible show together. Everyone remained so supportive of one another and was really patient in times of stress,” sophomore Dianna Whaley said. “The caring [aspect] of the Queen’s Court Company is why I love it so much.”

That same good nature and spirit continued all the way until the final days of the play. “Everyone was very nervous for the first show, but I remember before we started we had a little dance party and we just all had a really good time together,” Giallanza said.

Peter and the Starcatcher showcased the imagination, talent, hard work and heart of the members of both the cast and crew, and it will always hold a special place in their hearts. “There was something about the story and the themes that just connected us with each and every one of these characters, and that’s never happened the way it did during this show,” Anna Phillips said.

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