Before he landed on the island he named Neverland, Peter Pan was an orphan boy who set sail on a ship of the same name.

Before he earned his more famous moniker, the pirate later known as Captain Hook was called Black Stache and had both of his hands.

Grandview Heights High School's fall production of "Peter and the Starcatcher" will offer the back story of Peter, Captain Hook and other classic characters.

"It's a play that serves as a prequel to the familiar story of Peter Pan," said director April Olt. "It does the same thing for Peter Pan that 'Wicked' did for 'The Wizard of Oz.' Just how did these characters end up like this?"

The play is based on "Peter and the Starcatchers," a young-adult science-fiction novel written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

"One of the reasons we chose this as our fall play this year is that it's a book that a lot of high school students read when they were younger," Olt said. "It's fun for them to do a play based on characters and a story they are familiar with."

Olt said she also wanted to give students the challenge of attempting a different style of storytelling than in previous plays.

Many of the cast members are tasked with not only playing a human character, but also portraying creatures, locations and even inanimate objects, she said, such as a wall or door.

"They have to figure out a way to personify those objects to make them real to the audience," Olt said. "It offers them a chance to do more as an actor than just memorize lines."

"Peter and the Starcatcher" also includes musical elements, including a dance number, she said.

Sixty-one students are involved in the production, in both acting roles and as crew members, Olt said.

Performances are set for 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 1-3, in the high school auditorium, 1587 W. Third Ave.

Tickets cost $5 for general admission. Student tickets are $1 for the Nov. 1 performance only.

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