Nate Couch stars in “The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket,” on stage March 8, 9, 10, 17 and 18 at Everett Community College. (Everett Community College)

Nate Couch stars in “The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket,” on stage March 8, 9, 10, 17 and 18 at Everett Community College. (Everett Community College)

‘The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket’ showing at EvCC March 8-18

The Peter Pan-like play takes a frank look at the challenges of growing up different.

Peter Pan meets Icarus in Everett Community College’s production of “The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket.”

Students at the college will perform the coming-of-age tale March 8-18 at EvCC’s theater in Baker Hall.

“Daniel Rocket” is the story of a boy who believes he can fly — a belief that causes him to be shunned and ridiculed by his schoolmates, including the girl he adores. Twenty years later, after becoming rich and famous, he returns to his hometown a lonely man.

The play, an off-Broadway show that was written by Peter Parnell, takes a frank look at the challenges of growing up different.

“It’s a retelling of the Peter Pan story for the modern age,” said theater instructor Beth Peterson. “When I was growing up, I loved Peter Pan because he was able to fly. As I grew up, I started to understand the metaphor behind loss of innocence and longing for the simplicity of youth.

“I believe this story touches on some of the same themes as Peter Pan and other flying stories,” she said. “How we long to be free but are fettered by our feet on the ground. And those who are able to fly, soar like the wind, but they are unaware of what is happening on the ground.”

Nathan Couch stars as Daniel Rocket. This is his fourth play with EvCC. The 30-year-old from Everett also portrayed Ergaste in “School for Husbands” and Shamrayev in “The Seagull.” He worked behind the scenes on “Evil Twin,” a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde play that Peterson wrote.

Couch got his start in theater at Arlington High School, where he played one of the fairies in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

“I’ve always had a knack for comedy and remembering lines in movies,” said Couch, who is studying business administration at the college. “I used to be a little bit nervous, but my drama teacher back in high school helped me break out of my shell.”

The play is directed by Scott Randall. The cast and crew include Neal Akins, Michael Altamiran, Jameson Cook, Devon Crabb, Matthew Horsley, Sonja Kinzer, Jay Morton, Mia Selby, Samantha Tonn and Trish Davies.

“The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket,” which made its stage debut in 1982 in New York City, is a comedy, drama and romance in two acts. In the first act, most of the characters are between 12 and 14 years old. The second act takes place when they are all 32 to 34.

Couch said that Daniel Rocket is a lot like Peter Pan, but that he also sees a bit of Icarus in him as well. In Greek mythology, Icarus dared to fly too close to the sun with wings his father made him.

“His head is in the clouds because all he thinks about is flying,” Couch said of the character he plays. “He is a tunnel-visioned person. He’s not really getting what life is about.”

If you go

“The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket” is showing at 7:30 p.m. March 8, 9, 10, 17 and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. March 18 at Everett Community College. The theater is in Baker Hall Room 120 on the Everett campus at 2000 Tower St., Everett.

The play includes mature content and is not suitable for children younger than 10. Admission by donation.

Visit www.everettcc.edu or call 425-388-9525 for more information. Or search Facebook for “The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket.”

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