MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities high school is the first in the nation to perform one of Disney’s hit Broadway shows.

Edina High School is one of three across the country selected to run pilot productions of “Peter and the Starcatcher.” That’s a prequel to “Peter Pan.” Their show debuts Thursday night after months of rehearsals.

“We’ve been running it and tweaking it to perfection,” Dylan Rickard, who plays Peter, said.

Theater students bring the play to their stage. It’s the story of Peter Pan, before he became the boy who would not grow up.

“He starts off as an orphan boy who thinks absolutely nothing of himself. Through the journey realizes his potential, he’s given a name and he’s given a family,” Rickard said.

Disney, and publishing house Music Theater International, gave the students creative freedom to figure out how the show works as a high school production.

“They wanted to make sure that somebody was going to look at it very carefully and make sure that it was going to follow the spirit of the show,” EHS Theatre Artistic Director Tony Matthes said.

Originally a 12 person cast, here twenty students reimagine the play adapted from the book written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Along the way you meet Wendy’s mother Molly, and Stashe, who later becomes Captain Hook.

“We’ve kept some pieces from the original Broadway one, but we kind of wanted to give a nod to them, but also make it our own,” Ben Weiman, who plays Stashe, said.

Each of their ideas, and tweaks, approved by Disney, are integrated into the production.

“There are no curtains on the edges of the stage, and there’s no backstage and everyone is on stage the whole show 44. We create the set ourselves people are objects, people are doors, people are animals,” Abigail Swoap, who plays Molly said.

“In the true spirit of storytelling, and imagination, we ask the audience imagine right along with us. See if you see what we’re trying to pull off here,” Matthes said.

Performances will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Edina Performing Arts Center at Edina High School.

Executives from Disney will be in the audience over the weekend. And, they have asked for EHS’s adapted script. It could be used in high school productions around the country

Jennifer Mayerle

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