When DreamWrights decided to tackle its first Peter Pan production, the staff kept its feet on the ground.

After all, how can you fly in a black box theater?

"We don't have that kind of height. We could never fly," said Diane Crews, who is co-directing the play with former DreamWrights actress Paige Hoke.

But after marshaling their creativity, the crew came up with a "flight simulation" option, she added, without revealing the details. Now they await opening night hoping everything goes according to the plan.

"If everything works right ... there will be something flying, but they won't be the actual people," Crews said, noting that DreamWrights is an all-volunteer theater. "We have all these ideas and some work and some don't."

The production of "Peter Pan and Wendy" opens Friday night and continues with several afternoon and evening performances through Feb. 24.

Kids have been attracted to J. M. Barrie's classic tale, published as "Peter and Wendy," since it first appeared in 1911.

The story begins in the nursery of the Darling home in London, where the children are cared for by Nana, their nurse and pet. They fly to Neverland with Peter, where they encounter the devious Captain Hook and his sidekick, Smee.

Hook is stalked by a crocodile clock in his stomach. Tinker Bell, although jealous of Peter's new friends, saves them from the infamous pirate.

DreamWrights does four shows a year, but never Peter Pan. Crews said it's a great show for the entire family.


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"I think it's very important for all of us to maintain the magic that is childhood, the wonder that is childhood and I think you can do that and still grow up and be responsible," she said.

"You can be responsible and still be free. People talk about them like they're two separate things, but I don't think they are."

Auditions were held in December and attracted 156 people, Crews said. Seventy actors were selected to fill two casts of 35 people each. Adding staff and crew members, 123 volunteers are putting on the show.

The most-familiar characters are being played by: Peter: Brice Leidy, 12, Red Lion, and Nathaniel Tyson, 14, Dallastown; Wendy: Gabby Turner, 12, Glen Rock, and Taylor Litke, 14, York; Captain Hook: Jerry Young, 44, York, and Chris Endres, 23, New Freedom; and Tinker Bell: Lydia Alvarnaz, 7, Mt. Wolf, and Ruthie Mangin, 7, York.

The show is two hours with a 15-minute intermission.

If you go

WHAT: "Peter Pan and Wendy"

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Feb. 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23; 2:30 p.m. Feb. 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 and 24

WHERE: DreamWrights, 100 Carlisle Ave., York

COST: $8 general admission or $12 reserved seating

DETAILS: Visit www.dreamwrights.org