From left are Charles Hagan as Captain Hook, Tessa Campbell as Wendy Darling, and Maddie Leach as Peter Pan during a recent rehearsal at Murphy’s Dance Studio. (Staff photo: Laura Williams)
ALBANY — Take the second star to the right, and go straight on ‘til morning.
Or, just go to the Albany Municipal Auditorium. Beginning Friday, this is where you will find Peter Pan, Captain Hook and a their crew of the Lost Boys and pirates carrying on their mischievous adventures in Neverland.
Ballet Theater South will present J.M. Barrie’s classic tale, “Peter Pan,” in three days of performances. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. production on Friday are $10. Show times on Saturday and Dec. 8 are at 2:30 p.m. and tickets are $15.
Ballet Theater South is a nonprofit organization run by volunteers and comprising dancers from various ballet studios in the area, including Dougherty, Lee and Terrell counties.
Selected by audition, each dancer in the company must be at least 8 years old, and have at least three years of dance experience. This year’s group has been rehearsing for “Peter Pan” every weekend since August.
“It is a lot of work, and takes a lot of time, but it’s worth it,” said Zan Twiggs, president of Ballet Theatre South.
“These dancers are really excited and proud to be here.”
This year’s production takes a slightly different twist from tradition ballet performances, incorporating acting and singing with classical ballet.
And, of course, what would Neverland be like without flying?
“Flying by Foy is coming in to help us with that,” Twiggs said.
“We haven’t rehearsed that part yet, but I’m sure it will be very interesting,” she said with a laugh.
“We’ve got pirates, lost boys, daggers, and swashbuckling sword fights,” Twiggs said. “It’s a very physical play, with lots of excitement. This is a very active ballet that everyone, including boys, can really enjoy.”
Choreographed by Camilla resident Leslie Hodges, the play stars Maddie Leach as Peter Pan, Tallahassee dance instructor Charles Hagan as Captain Hook, and Tessa Campbell, Jesse Middlebrooks and Catherine Talley as Wendy, John and Michael Darling. The entire cast is made up of 49 dancers and two guests artists.
“We try to make all of our productions as professional as possible, from costuming and backdrops to technical effects,” Twiggs said.
“We are really blessed to have the Albany Municipal Auditorium in this area,” she added. “It’s a wonderful performance hall, and it is the only place in Albany that can accommodate the technical needs of our production.”
And from hours of rehearsal to literally rolling up the studio’s specialized dance floor and transporting it to the performance venue, it is quite a production, but one that should serve as an exciting piece of entertainment for area residents — and make them feel like a kid again.
Even sore feet can’t stop these performers from dancing their way through the fantasy world of Neverland.
“You know, you can never have pretty feet when you’re a ballet dancer,” Twiggs noted. “These dancers love what they do, and even feel proud of their ‘battle scars.’ They wear them like a badge of honor.”
Tickets for “Peter Pan” can be purchased by phone at (229) 869-5309 and will be available at the door.
For more information, visit Ballet Theater South’s Facebook page or their website at www.ballettheatresouth.org.