If you love a good backstory, “Peter and the Starcatcher,” coming to the Lyric Stage May 20, has one for you. It’s the boyhood story of the boy who never grew up: Peter Pan, as he struggles with authority, abandonment and, you guessed it, the complexities of growing up. The stage show written by Rick Elice is an adaptation of Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s 2006 novel of the same name.
We chat with Marc Pierre, the 25-year-old Brooklyn native and Emerson grad who will play Peter/Boy in the upcoming production.
Tell me more about the show.
The story itself is how Peter Pan became Peter Pan. A lot of the characters you encounter in the show are from the same story except Peter is an orphan before he can fly, and Captain Hook is called Black Stache and still has his hand. Molly Aster is Wendy’s mother as a girl. It’s a coming-of-age-story of them realizing who they can be as people and who we come to know to be the legend of Peter Pan.
That’s something that I wanted to talk to you about — Peter Pan is the boy who won’t grow up, but the main theme of this play is still “coming-of-age”?
Absolutely. I’ve seen it as Peter had all these makings of who he eventually becomes. He has an idea of hating grown-ups and having problems with authority. He always wants to be a boy and wants to find a home where he can become the person he wants to be, without anyone telling him what to do.
Do we end up sympathizing with Peter?
You can see what the drive is for him not wanting to grow up, and how that carries him for the rest of his life.
The cast for the production is pretty tiny and has to, literally, wear a lot of hats and represent multiple characters at a time in rapid succession. The Lyric is a really intimate place to see a show, so is this sort of organized chaos overwhelming for you at all?
It’s a little daunting. A lot of times, you’ll change characters within two lines of each other and it can be exhausting. Our director [Spiro Veloudos] said the original production on Broadway felt like there were 80 people on stage when there were only 12. In this intimate stage, we want it to feel like there are 85.
You’ve starred in several professional productions (Milk Like Sugar at the Huntington Theatre, The Flick at Gloucester Stage, King Lear and Romeo and Juliet for Commonwealth Shakespeare) in the Boston area since graduating. What do you think of the theater scene here? Has it changed at all in the span that you’ve been working at all?
I’m seeing a lot more plays dealing with younger stories. Coming out of college, a lot of my friends and I would go see shows with older actors and we’d connect to the stories on some level, but never saw us on stage. Now we’re seeing stories that deal with younger people and younger people are represented.
If you go:
May 20 to June 26
The Lyric Stage
140 Clarendon Street