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Anyone familiar with the story of "Peter Pan" knows that to fly, you need pixie dust and lovely thoughts.
But for anyone recreating this story on the stage, a bit of science is needed as well, as the cast and crew of Dynamic Community Theater's production of "Peter Pan" is learning. For example, standing at the center of the stage will allow you to fly straight up, but standing on one side or the other will have the actor soaring in the opposite direction, said Sam Kirbabas, 12, of Kent, who is playing John Darling.
Dynamics hired the services of Hall and Associates Flying Effects to teach their actors to fly.
The actors interviewed said they were having fun learning to fly.
"Flying is a different experience I thought I'd never have the opportunity to have," said Michaella Waickman, 15, of Akron, who is playing Peter Pan.
"It's very fun," said George McWilliams, 9, of Cuyahoga Falls. "It's a great feeling when you are up in the air. The harnesses hurt sometimes but it's a lot of fun."
Kelly Edington of Akron, who is playing Wendy, was the only cast member interviewed who had flown onstage in previous shows, and she called the experience "a homecoming." She said she had flown as the Ghost of Christmas Past in the Players Guild's production of "A Christmas Carol."
"It was with a different harness," she said. "So it's a different experience, a new challenge."
To get the characters soaring through the air onstage, there is a crew of people backstage who have been learning the ropes -- literally -- of keeping them in the air.
"It's a little more challenging than I thought it would be, but it's exciting to watch it all come together," said John Marfy of Tallmadge, who is not only operating the ropes backstage but plays Mr. Darling onstage. "It's very strenuous exercise. You have to be remember when to pull, and to pull at the right height."
Kurt Fitzgerald, who also is part of the backstage flying crew, said that he assisted with another production of "Peter Pan" at Miller South in Akron.
"I work with my hands all day for the Summit County Metro Parks," Fitzgerald said. "Lifting and then holding them up in the air, that's tiring. But once the show starts, it's a magical experience."
Ticket and show information
"Peter Pan" will be performed on Aug. 2, 3, 9, and 10 at 7 p.m., and with a Sunday matinee on Aug. 4 at 3 p.m. at the Tallmadge High School Auditorium.
The story begins with Peter sneaking into Wendy Darling's bedroom to recapture his lost shadow. Peter teaches Wendy and her brothers to fly, and they soar with him on a trip to Neverland, where they join with the Lost Boys. Their adventure includes meeting Tiger Lily, and a life-or-death struggle with Captain Hook and his band of pirates.
Tallmadge High School is at 140 N. Munroe Road in Tallmadge. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $8 for students and seniors.
For the first time, tickets may be purchased online at www.dynamicstheater.org. Patrons will need to call in their orders to 330-217-1227 to redeem their vouchers. All seating is reserved.
For details, visit www.dynamicstheater.org, or find the theater on Facebook.