10-year-old actor takes stage in ‘Finding Neverland’ tour

Brooks Schweser (who will go by the stage name of Brooks Hamilton) is a 10-year-old Lake Forest Hills Elementary School student who will be performing in the national touring company of Finding Neverland. SPECIAL

Brooks Schweser isn’t waiting until he grows up to embark on his career path.


At 10, he’s already pursuing it.

He made his debut Thursday in Austin, Texas in the national Broadway tour of Finding Neverland, based on the life of Peter Pan author, J.M. Barrie.

Last January, the Lake Forest Hills Elementary School pupil was in Atlanta for the Junior Thespian Festival when he made his career decision.

“I told my mom I wanted to do professional acting,” said Brooks, who will go by the stage name of Brooks Hamilton. He will alternate between the roles of Jack and Michael.

Brooks has always been around the stage. His great-grandfather, R. Allen Symms, helped found The Augusta Players.

His grandfather was Robert Symms, the famous Augusta photographer, and his mother, Mary Anne Symms-Schweser has also appeared on stage with the Players.

“He grew up in the Players,” said Symms-Schweser. “He started doing plays when he was 6.”

He’s appeared locally with the Players in Oliver and A Christmas Carol: The Musical and in several productions with the Augusta Junior Players including James and the Giant Peach Jr. and Winnie The Pooh Kids.

In May 2017, he attended the national tour of Finding Neverland when it was in Atlanta and fell in love with it. He went with his mother and a friend, Heidi Coughenour, who toured with the national production of Annie in the title role in 2016.

Finding Neverland isn’t his first experience spreading his dramatic wings beyond Augusta.

In October, he performed at New York’s Lincoln Center in a staged reading of a new production called La Dotteressa, the Musical. The show is about educator Maria Montessori.

Also, last year, he performed in New York as Nigel in a Matilda Jr. Workshop production.

Brooks will travel to several cities including Memphis, Tenn., Mil­wau­kee, Detroit, Sacra­mento, Calif., Tucson, Ariz. and Tulsa, Okla., before his contract ends in April.

Brooks said he’s not in the least bit nervous about performing.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I’m prepared. I’ve been working in rehearsal, and I’m ready.”

Symms-Schweser said there are other performance opportunities once this show closes.

To find out more about the national tour of Finding Neverland, visit finding neverlandthemusical.com.