The play will be shown through Feb. 13
“The North Star” debuted at Stages Theatre Company in Hopkins last month and will be shown at Hopkins Center for the Arts through Feb. 13.
The show is based on the book, “The North Star,” by Peter H. Reynolds and follows a coming-of-age fable about a young person, The Child, embarking on the journey of a lifetime. The Child receives advice along their journey from various animals and experiences as they slowly figure out the nuances of their journey and begins to make use of the advice given to them.
The dance-inspired piece features the company’s ninth collaboration with Escalate Dance and is directed by Sandy Boren-Barrett and Ann Marie Omeish.
Boren-Barrett has been with Stages Theatre Company since 1990 and has been the artistic director since 2005. She said growing up that she couldn’t have done anything other than theatre.
“I think along my journey I realized what I really wanted to do was to provide that opportunity to kids,” she said.
While the number of productions she’s been a part of is a mystery to her because there have been so many, one of them is the company’s first production of “The North Star.”
“There was something about the journey of this story that when we picked it, it was sort of pre-pandemic, right? And it became even more important for kids, I think, given all that we have excepted of them through all of this and for them to know that they’re going to be okay, that they’re going to find their way and the journey of this Child is more metaphor than anything,” Boren-Barrett said.
When watching a show like “The North Star,” she said there are things she hopes watchers get out of the story and the experience itself. She hopes the audience learns everybody’s journey is different and it’s their own.
“I hope that people coming to the theatre walk away with a sense of comfort. It’s a story that, it allows you to have a young person, child, sit in your lap and appreciate just that time together. And on a cold January day or February day, that’s pretty special,” Boren-Barrett said about the experience.
This play is the debut performance for both 12-year-old Alice Pinney from Minneapolis, who plays The Child, and 13-year-old Yasemin Pillay from St. Louis Park, who plays Bird.
Pinney said The Child is a blank slate that has a lot of curiosity in the beginning and eventually meets new friends and they being to take attributes from them, such as wisdom from Bird.
“(They’re) very positive, but (have) many emotional ups and downs. Kind of like a little child, actually,” she said.
Pillay said she feels Bird is very wise, but also very thoughtful and really pays attention to her surroundings.
“She’s very fond of Child. She really likes Child and she really wants to help Child find their journey and their own path in life,” she said. Boren-Barrett added that Bird is very much a caretaker.
Pinney’s favorite parts of the performance are dancing with the trees and dancing with the mosquitoes, while Pillay loves the overall community of being in theatre.
While the pandemic has placed new pressure on theatre companies, Stages Theatre Company has tried to keep families engaged.
“We’ve had really lovely and small audiences. I say that in that people are slowly coming back and I think it’s because they crave that sort of experience with their kids. And those people that are coming to see the show are so happy to be experiencing it,” Boren-Barrett said.
Tickets can be purchased at https://www.stagestheatre.org/north-star/. Stages Theatre Company is asking patrons to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test completed within 72 hours of the performance. All attendees must wear masks at all times while in the building and theater.