Night flights, sword fights and furious fairies are all par for the course in Peter Pan .
So is a girl in boy's clothing.
Peter Pan is a complicated production built around a simple idea: Love and play lead the way.
"Everyone knows Peter Pan ," said Nicole Swanson, who plays the eternal adolescent in the current Augusta Players' production. "And those ideas appeal to everyone. It isn't just kids. Adults are constantly reminded of their own childhood and the joy of play."
To prepare for the role, she endured several hours of flying tutorials, brushed up on stage combat and, like so many stage Pans before her, got in touch with the little boy she never was.
"I like theater because I get to be different," she said. "That's the appeal, and this is utterly that. I am playing a boy. There is an accent. There is flying. There is sword fighting. It really is everything I am not. But I love it because of that."
Although simple on the surface, Pan and his pirate nemesis, Captain Hook, reveal complexity. Pan is plagued by abandonment issues, and Hook's tough talk hides uncertainty.
"He's full of bravado, but also insecure," said Michael Hamilton, who plays Hook. "He's over the top, to be sure. But he's also very complicated."
The scene-stealing Hook is always on, even when he's feeling a little off.
"I've found that I have not run into a single occasion when Debi (Ballas, the production's director) asked me to pull him back," he said. "You really can take him pretty far."
He said the grandstanding nature of Hook, and playing Hook, can be uncomfortable. The secret, he said, is embracing an idea at the core of the Pan mythos -- belief: "If you believe it, you can just go for it."
Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ONSTAGE WHAT: Peter Pan, presented by the Augusta Players WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday WHERE: The Imperial Theatre, 745 Broad St. COST: $15-$45; (706) 826-4707