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'Peter Pan' actors fly high at Mission Theatre


Last updated 7/31/2017 at Noon

Peter Pan (Sam Nalick), Wendy (Marah Alley), Michael (Nicolas Hartman) and John (Chris Nalick) are ready for their first flying lesson.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal

Special to the Village News

Peter Pan flies! Really. Along with Wendy and brothers John and Michael Darling! How do they do it? It is like magic.

Actually, a stage-flying company has been in Fallbrook multiple times to teach the youngsters to fly above the set. Using a patented system of winches, harness and various types of rigging – members of the Peter Pan casts get to soar overhead.

The company, Flying by Foy, has flown everyone from Mary Martin to 50 cents with lots of celebrities in between. Based in Las Vegas, flying director Johnny Pickett has visited here multiple times during the past weeks to install gear as well as to train, coach and instruct cast and crew in all of the productions.

With a master’s degree in theater design, Pickett towers over the diminutive cast members while gently coaxing each into character. He is a wizard with kids gently guiding them from using the gear to special stage fighting methods while airborne.

With up to five kids in the air at once, the ground crew is essential to their safety. Manning the backstage ropes are Aiden Hayek, Andrew Reeder, Andrew King, Debbie Nalick and Christian Estill.

Costumes for the 50 cast members have been sewn and designed by Patricia Hornsveld; the lighting designed by Curtis Mueller, the sound by Aiden Hayek.

Peter Pan (Sam Nalick) flies over the sleeping children.

Multi-talented Oscar Escobedo designed the set and directed all of the productions so far (while also directing and performing in "Into the Woods" at Christ the King Lutheran Church). Assisted by Doug Shear and Kristena Hill, this ambitious summer children’s project will continue until Aug. 13.

The third show from Cast Academy’s acting summer camps is at the Mission Theatre playing Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Performance dates are July 28, 29 and 30. If you can’t make this production, the next show runs Aug. 5, 6, 11, 12, and 13.

Family friendly prices make it ideal for an outing with the kids. Be sure to get tickets early at the Box Office, (760) 731-2278 or at


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