Starcatcher

Co-author of the award-winning Peter and the Starcatcher series Ridley Pearson ’71 returns to the Hilltop to stage his next play.


 

In the first of many trips planned for this academic year, co-author of the award-winning Peter and the Starcatcher series Ridley Pearson ’71 returned to the Hilltop for a table read of the spring musical — The Academy. Since early last year, Pearson and Theater Director Chip Lamb have been co-writing the two-act mystery musical loosely based on Pearson’s book of the same name in the Steel Trapp series.

The pages came to life at The Academy table read.

Students and faculty integral to the production met in Parsons Lodge for a first look at the script and read aloud the words Pearson and Lamb have been laboring over since summer. As they made their way through the script, they paused to hear rough cuts of the show’s lyrics and music and laughed at the play's jokes and comical moments. During the break, students talked excitedly about bringing the production to life. After the reading, they had the opportunity to ask questions about the work in progress.

“I was so thrilled with how animated the students were,” said Pearson. “They put so much emotion into their reading and made the pages come to life. It gave me a lot of hope.”

 

Ridley Pearson ’71 and Theater Director Chip Lamb at The Academy table read.

“It is such a different process from being handed a finished script and immediately going into rehearsal to learn it as it was written," said Lamb. “It is one thing to write and trade scripts back and forth over the Internet and wonder about what we’ve created. This is not a finished script — we have much more work to do. And this process was helpful in so many different ways.”

The Academy is set at a boarding school in a remote corner of a New England state inspired by Pomfret. It will be performed during Reunion Weekend in May 2022, and commemorate the re-opening of Hard Auditorium, which is currently under renovation.

“The entire table-read experience was amazing! Working on an original show with a cast this incredible is any performer’s dream,” said Maya Bullied ’23. “The show is filled with action and drama. I didn't stop laughing during the whole read through! I’m so excited for what the future holds for this show and look forward to the work ahead.”

Pearson is a New York Times best-selling author and has written more than fifty suspense and young adult novels. His book Peter and the Starcatchers was adapted into a highly successful Broadway production and is one of the most popular shows in theaters across the country.

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Starcatcher

Co-author of the award-winning Peter and the Starcatcher series Ridley Pearson ’71 returns to the Hilltop to stage his next play.