When Rainey Martovich and Andrew Petersell take the stage on Friday, July 24 at Shelton High School in Center Stage Theatre’s Youth CONNection production of Peter Pan, they will find themselves at opposite ends of the spectrum.
For Petersell, who plays Captain Hook, after seven summer in Youth CONNection productions, it will be his last performance as 23 is the maximum age of the group. For Martovich, who plays Peter Pan, it will be not only her first Youth CONNection production, but her theatrical debut.
A graduate of Bard College, Petersell first appeared in The Music Man in 2009 with the theatre company and has been in every summer production since then. Along the way, he won several major roles including Chief Sitting Bull in Annie Get Your Gun in 2011 and the Man in the Chair, the central character in The Drowsy Chaperone in 2013.
“The Youth CONNection has been such an enormous and formative time in my life, that it’s hard to believe that it will all going to be coming to an end soon. It hasn’t really hit me yet. But it seems appropriate to be ending on Peter Pan; a show all about the importance of growing up and moving on,” said Petersell.
Center Stage director Gary Scarpa, said, “Andrew is one of most talented interpreters of the written word that I’ve worked with, and a cast member who has always made everyone feel accepted. We will certainly miss him, but we hope he will audition for regular Center Stage productions during the year.”
Eighteen year old Martovich, a recent graduate of Shelton High School, also attended Regional Center for the Arts in Trumbull, where she was exposed to various musical genres.
“Rainey is a very gifted singer,” said Scarpa, “and it would take a nationwide search to find anyone more right for the role of Peter Pan!”
“It can be intimidating,” said Martovich. “Especially to a fish in new water, yet I can’t help but feel 100 percent accepted and appreciated. The support, the friendships, the confidence and the fun I’m experiencing are seriously special things.”
Scarpa said, “Peter Pan is the perfect family show and wonderful show that will reawaken the child in all of us. The flying effects are truly magical and will certainly delight everyone in the audience.”
The Youth CONNection Players, now a division of Center Stage Theatre, was founded in 1983 by Gary and Francesca Scarpa is a community theatre group for high school and college students. Each summer for thirty-two years the group has produced major musicals, most recently: Les Miserables, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Legally Blonde.
wPerformances of Peter Pan will take place at Shelton High School at 8:00 p.m. on July 24th, 25th, 31st, and August 1st, and also at 2:00 p.m. on August 1st. Tickets are $ 20.00 for adults and $ 10.00 for students and may be purchased by calling 203-225-6079 or online at www.centerstageshelton.org.