Peatre the Theater Fish: Just Keep Swimming


Tori Greene

Peatre, the theater department's betta fish, mascot, and confidant, helps students focus during practices and performances. Peatre was given to theater by the journalism department, and has changed colors, tanks, and caretakers throughout the years.

Ryland Mallett, Staff Writer

The big night crept closer. Everyone scrambled to prepare for the upcoming performance. Amidst the high stressed atmosphere of the theater department, many had only one place to turn for guaranteed relief. Peatre.

Peatre the Theater Fish served his seventh year as the official pet of the theater department. He encouraged students performing in shows and acted as a friend of all who ventured into the theater classroom.

“For shows he is kind of our good luck charm,” theater director Jeremy Ferman said. “The fish is there for us to calm ourselves when we are in a stressful situation. We look at Peatre and he says ‘calm thyself.’”

In 2011, journalism students gifted the red fish to the theater department along with other red items in support of their show “Running In The Red”. From there, the responsibility of looking after Peatre had been passed from student to student.

“What I really like is that he’s there, he is comforting and I don’t have to take care of him because there is always a student who takes care of him,” Ferman said.

The tasks of cleaning Peatre’s tank, feeding him, refilling his water, and taking him home during breaks was most recently passed to junior and theater vice president Kara Spencer.

“Everyone loves Peatre,” Spencer said. “We all protect him like he’s our child. You’ll never catch someone tapping on the glass or sticking their finger in the water without consequences.”

Known for his change in colors, the theater beta morphed into a new, colorful hue every two or three years. Peatre also switched tanks every so often. Accompanying him was a dinosaur, a lounge chair and glow-in-the-dark rocks.

“My favorite thing about the fish in the theatre department is the fact he’s a good stress relief because watching swim around and change colors is pretty relaxing,” senior Christian Hachat said.

Ferman says Peatre started as a red betta and then transformed into a blue color followed by its most recent red-purple color.

“He does make class more fun because when there’s a lot of stress, Peatre is kind of calming,” senior and theater president Jisella Ayala said. “He can do no wrong.”