Aaron Ragan was a little disappointed when he found out he wouldn't really fly in ``The Flying Prince,' the Greensboro Children's Theatre show opening Friday and continuing Saturday and Sunday in Town Hall of the Coliseum Complex.
``I thought about soaring like Peter Pan,' said the Mendenhall Middle School eighth grader, recalling the shows in which an actor is swung across the stage by an invisible wire to simulate flying.``But we have this mountain and I go up stairs behind it.' The mountain also allows him to switch from being a prince to being a bird. With some good body English, Ragan can make it appear he's soaring off to rescue the princess, played by Danielle Slaba, a ninth grader at Southeast.
Ragan has appeared in ``Animal Crackers' and ``Once Upon a Clothesline' with Children's Theatre, and is taking an acting class at school. His greatest problem with this role has been some of the unusual names in the script, which is set in ancient India. His name is Vikram.
The action in ``The Flying Prince' should appeal to audiences, he said. When the prince finds his intended bride has been kidnapped by a bandit, played by Eric Guthrie, he petitions the gods to make him a bird so he can fly to help her.
That's when he rises to the mountain top, with wings flapping.
While the prince is on his rescue mission, Pandu, a treacherous servant played by David Bediz, takes possession of the prince's body, which he has left behind. Pandu usurps his master's place, so the prince must find a way to outwit him as well as the bandit.
As the princess, Manorama, Slaba agrees about pronouncing some of the names, but manages to roll hers off her tongue with skill. She says it's quite a change from an earlier role, in which she played a go-go girl. Slaba's experience includes playing in ``Dungaree World' and work in drama class and the drama club at Southeast.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission is by season ticket, $8 for three plays, or by a single-show ticket at the door costing $4. For information, call 373-2974.
Appearing in the cast are Sonny Willis, Hunter Thore, Matt Six, Michael B. Sears, Ayla Samli, Justin Sacher, Jason Moff, Lee Martin, Susan LaBella, Jennifer Hilton, Becky Gumbiner, Nick Fragola, Jonathan Davis and Bruce E. Brown. The stage manager is Matt Ferry, assisted by Curtis Drake.