An interview with Peter & The Starcatcher's "Peter" and "Black 'Stache"

    November 1, 2017

    PATSC interview graphic

    From November 16 to 25, The BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts at Capilano University is home to the stage production of Peter and the Starcatcher. It’s a swashbuckling prequel to Peter Pan, packed with pirates, mermaids, jungle denizens—and of course, the beloved Lost Boys.

    Capilano U Acting for the Stage and Screen students Braeden Saucy and Nicco Del Rio are two key performers in the production, who both made their BlueShore at Cap debut in last spring’s Thoroughly Modern Millie, and went on to work with director Gillian Barber again in Theatre Under the Stars’ The Drowsy Chaperone this summer. In Peter and the Starcatcher, Nicco plays the title role, and Braeden takes on the character of Black Stache, who he describes as “a bloodthirsty pirate with a surprisingly modish aesthetic”.

    The two actors took a few moments out of the busy show preparations to share their Capilano University Theatre experience, and their excitement for Peter and the Starcatcher to take the stage.

    What attracted you to acting for the stage? And to musical theatre?

    Nicco: The pure sense of community and passion that accompanies acting and musical theatre attracted me to pursue the craft, starting from a very early age. The emphasis on self-growth and the idea that we’re doing our best to present the audience with a memorable, or even thought-changing experience is also an incredible and grand thought. I can’t see myself doing anything else. My time at Capilano University has without a doubt been the most intense – and best! – few years of my life. A good word to put to it is “growth.” I’ve hit my peaks and my lows, both with their own unique merit and importance. It’s truly prepared me to take on the big scary world of the entertainment business.

    Braeden: Acting is something I had always thought about doing, but didn’t quite have the guts to pursue. Applying for Capilano’s acting program was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I started off as someone that was painfully nervous at the thought of performing in front of my classmates to being cast as Black Stache, arguably one of the most eccentric and madcap characters in the show, and I could hardly be enjoying myself more.

    What’s it like performing and rehearsing in The BlueShore at Cap?

    Braeden: Performing in front of live audiences at The BlueShore at Cap is great. It’s easy to feed off of the audiences’ energy and enthusiasm for the show. There’s definitely something immersive about the space.

    Nicco:  Magical. Theatre spaces have always fascinated me. The stage is a portal to different worlds: all with their own rules, quirks, and infinite complications. The backstage has harbored so much talent, drive, and the need to perform. If the stage creates a different world, the backstage is the control centre for the new frontier. As for the BlueShore itself, I am always humbled to be in the space. The sense of history that lives in the walls and on the stage is almost eerily unifying. And incredible amount of talent has been here before me, and they’ve enticed audiences for years. I need to do my best to keep the tradition alive.

    What did you glean from your experiences performing in Millie and The Drowsy Chaperone?

    Nicco: I had so much fun in both of those shows. I learned through how important it is to do what you love, and love what you do. Not being fully committed to what you’re doing onstage can be read by the audience! Every kick, every note, and every intention has to be crystal clear in musical theatre. I also learned how difficult choreography can be outside of a high school level.

    Braeden: The shows represented my first foray in musical theatre. The choreography was more of a dance boot camp for me, not having had any previous dance experience. Nicco Del Rio and I had to spend our free time helping each other memorize the dance routines and harmonies just to keep up. This time around we’ve got a little more experience under our belts and we’ll be sharing the stage as adversaries. 

    Can you share some advance details on Peter and the Starcatcher? What can audiences expect to feel and witness?

    Braeden: The show is going to be incredibly fun. The set is pretty much an adult playground, an actor’s dream. Audiences can look forward to plenty of action, impromptu “sword” fights, frolicking ships, outlandish islanders, and my personal favourite: vaudevillian singing mermaids. It’s going to be an evening of zany characters, great songs, and a lot of heart. Although Peter and the Starcatcher has enough energy and imagination to appeal to a younger audience the show is going to be a great time for people of all ages. It’s full of wit, clever quips, and a captivating story. There’s definitely something for everyone to enjoy!

    Nicco: I like to call this show a call to childhood. By this, I mean that the unadulterated wonder and excitement of being a kid, being a “lost boy”, and all the make believe and creativity makes this show fantastically nostalgic, in a sense. At the same time, this show can be very adult in the sense of raw emotion and hope. Everyone is fighting for something, and to find their place in this big storybook. What makes this show just that extra bit more fun is that the cast members create their own sound effects, doorways, and set pieces. In a very Shakespearian fashion, we call upon the audience’s natural imagination to set the stage, allowing them to create in the world as much as we are. This show is simultaneously a grand spectacle of stagework and an intimate, honest experience. I can speak for the whole cast and crew when I say we can’t wait to bring it to life.

    For tickets, click here


    Submitted by: Nicole Pointon