America's Oldest · Founded 1808

See the Philadelphia Premiere of the Mad-Cap Adventure PETER AND THE STARCATCHER! Now - May 1

February 15, 2016

Philadelphia, PA: Walnut Street Theatre continues its landmark 207th season with the Philadelphia premiere of PETER AND THE STARCATCHER. Directed by Bill Van Horn, this play with music begins previews on March 15th, opens on March 23rd and runs through May 1st on the Walnut’s Mainstage.

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER is a grownup's prequel to Peter Pan. When starcatcher-in-training Molly meets an orphan boy longing for a home, they embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Audiences will be whisked away on a breathtaking quest to answer the question: how did a boy named Peter become the boy who never grew up? PETER AND THE STARCATCHER takes a hilarious romp through the Neverland you never knew. In this Tony Award-winning play with music, a dozen brilliant actors play more than 100 unforgettable characters using their enormous talent, ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of imagination. This swashbuckling production will have audience hooked from the moment they let their imagination take flight.

Award-winning authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson wrote the children’s novel PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS in 2006. Rick Elice adapted the book for stage. Among Elice’s additional credits, he co-wrote Jersey Boys, Turn of the Century and The Addams Family. The instrumental score for PETER AND THE STARCACHER was written by Wayne Barker.

PETER AND THE STARCACHER had its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2009. The show transferred to Off-Broadway in 2011, and then to Broadway in 2012. The production received critical acclaim and was awarded five Tony Awards. Since closing on Broadway, the show reopened Off-Broadway and has had two successful National Tours.

Bill Van Horn will direct the production. Van Horn has directed productions for the Walnut, including his adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, Forrest: A Riot of Dreams and Walnut touring productions Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, Around the World in 80 Days and David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre. Additionally, his directing credits include Henry V, The Winter’s Tale and The Glass Menagerie at Theatre at Monmouth, and The Good Person of Setzuan at Blackfriars Traveling Theatre. On stage at the Walnut, Van Horn has performed in numerous productions, including Around the World in 80 Days, Driving Miss Daisy, The Music Man, and, most recently, A Christmas Story. He also wrote and starred in the acclaimed Independence Studio on 3 productions of O Captain, My Captain: Whitman’s Lincoln and the world premiere of The Prince (co-written with Armen Pandola). Mark Yurkanin will join Van Horn as Musical Coordinator.

From pirates and lost boys, to mermaids and flying cats, the cast is full of Philadelphia’s best storytellers and a perfect company to bring to life the vibrant, whimsical characters of PETER AND THE STARCACHER. Brandon O’Rourke returns to the Walnut as Boy (Peter) after performing in Oliver!, Les Misérables, Carousel, Peter Pan, State Fair and, most recently, Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. Michaela Shuchman joins the cast as starcatcher-in-training Molly Aster. At the Walnut, Shuchman appeared as Chava in Fiddler on the Roof. Pirate chief Black Stache will be played by Walnut veteran Ian Merrill Peakes, who is currently performing in Harvey. His additional Walnut credits include An Ideal Husband, Enchanted April and Of Mice and Men.

Aaron Cromie (Buddy Holly Story) comes on board as Black Stache’s first mate Smee, and Dan Hodge (Private Lives) as Lord Aster, a starcatcher on a secret mission. David Bardeen (The Rise and Fall of Little Voice) will join the cast as Alf, and Dave Jadico (The Fantasticks) as Molly’s nanny Mrs. Bumbrake and a wise Teacher. Prentiss and Ted, Boy’s companions from the orphanage, will be played by Davy Raphaely (Bad Jews) and Matthew Mastronardi (A Christmas Carol), respectively. Nichalas L. Parker (Memphis) will play Sánchez and Fighting Prawn and Jered McLenigan (Good People) will play Grempkin and Mack. Lindsay Smiling (Of Mice and Men) returns to the Walnut as Bill Slank and Hawking Clam, and Alex Bechtel (The Musical of Musicals: The Musical!) as Captain Scott.

Setting the stage for a world full of limitless imagination, the design team is led by Scenic Designer Todd Edward Ivins (Other Desert Cities, Les Misérables). Ivins will be joined by Costume Designer Mary Folino (A Christmas Story, High Society), Lighting Designer J. Dominic Chacon (A Moon for the Misbegotten, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice), and award-winning Sound Designer Christopher Colucci (Red, Amadeus).

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER runs at the Walnut March 15 through May 1. Open captioning will be available for the 7pm performance on Sunday, April 10. This production is sponsored by Frank and Ramona Gwynn. PNC Arts Alive is the Walnut’s Community Partner for PETER AND THE STARCATCHER. Media Partners are NBC 10 and Metro. For tickets and information, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting or Ticketmaster.