FLY soars onto the Gompertz Stage as FST’s third mainstage show of the season
(Sarasota, FL) —FST’s third Mainstage show takes flight on the Gompertz stage beginning
February 6, 2015. A powerful story of the fight and flight for freedom both abroad and at home, Fly follows four African-American military pioneers from training through WWII. Proving themselves as officers and pilots, they paved the way for desegregation of the American military in this tale of brotherhood, acceptance, and equality. Single tickets range from $18-49. Subscriptions for all four shows can be purchased for as little as $49 by phone at (941) 366-9000 or by visiting the Box Office.
Artistic Director, Richard Hopkins, speaks to the excitement of bringing this theatrical sensation to the Gompertz stage stating, “Fly is an extraordinary piece of theatre. The story is first rate and as true as an arrow. It’s a historic view of how World War II African Americans (Tuskegee Airmen) overcame overt racism to become heroes to all races, building bridges as they progressed. It is a story of inspiration for all Americans. The theatricality of the piece is tantalizing. With only a few chairs and limited props the actors take you from backwoods Alabama to the skies over war torn Germany. It is an exhilarating story for the ages.”
Making his FST directorial debut is the show’s original director and co-creator, Ricardo Khan. His previous directing credits include productions of Ruined at UMCK Theatre, Train to 2010 at Crossroads Theatre, and Black Eagles at Ford’s Theatre. Khan is the co-founder and former Artistic Director of the Crossroads Theater, one of the nation’s foremost African-American theatre companies. Originally written as a piece for school children, an early version of Fly was commissioned in 2005 by the Lincoln Center Institute. The production saw its World Premiere in New Brunswick, New Jersey, at the Crossroads Theater, in October 2009. The New York Times calls it, “A superior piece of theatrical synergy.” The Washington Post describes it as, “Action packed.”
Unique to this production is the character of the Tap Griot. Dancing and tapping the story with feverish intensity, Omar Edwards takes on the demanding challenge of bringing this character to life. “The role of the Tap Griot takes a very valid, beautiful piece of history straight into the world of theater. The dancing actually turns into words and monologues right in front of the audience. The sounds are feelings expressed in a lyrical fashion to make the dance a voice, a very important voice which tells the sub story.”
Exploring the play’s themes of race, brotherhood, civil rights history, and Veterans, FST will be the center of a community-wide conversation. Leading the steering committee for Fly is FST’s Associate Director and Forums Director Kate Alexander. Other committee members include Committee Chairman, The Honorable Judge Charles E. Williams, Judge Mayor Willie Shaw, Tom Tryon, Opinion-Editor Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and Trevor Harvey, Director Sarasota NAACP, with special counsel from Dr. Ed James II. With panel discussions, an online forum, and other community events throughout the run of the production, this community conversation is supported by over 25 community organizations. The online forum will begin on February 6, 2015 at www.fstblog.com.
Fly opens on February 6, 2015 in the Gompertz Theatre. Single tickets range from $18-49. Subscriptions for all four shows can be purchased for as little as $49, online at FloridaStudioTheatre.org, by phone at (941) 366-9000 or by visiting the Box Office.
FLY Panel Discussions:
All Panel Discussions will take place from 5:00pm – 6:15pm in the Keating Theatre.
Panel #1: February 11 – Double V: World War II and Sarasota 1941-1945
Panel #2: February 26 – Civil Rights in Sarasota Today
Panel #3: March 12 – Veterans of Color
About Florida Studio Theatre
Known as Sarasota’s Contemporary Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre was founded in 1973 by Jon Spelman. Starting out as a small touring company, FST traveled to places such as migrant camps and prisons. The company then acquired the former Woman’s Club building, becoming the first permanent venue. Shortly after Richard Hopkins arrived, the building was purchased and renamed The Keating Theatre. In the years that followed, Florida Studio Theatre established itself as a major force in American Theatre, presenting contemporary theatre in its five theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the Gompertz Theatre, the Parisian style Goldstein Cabaret and John C. Court Cabaret, and Bowne’s Lab Theatre.
Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience. FST develops theatre that speaks to our living, evolving, and dynamically changing world. As FST grows and expands, it continues to provide audiences with challenging, contemporary drama and innovative programs.
HAIRSPRAY – November 12 – January 11
DANCING LESSONS – December 10 – February 27
FLY – February 4 – April 4
CHAPATTI – April 8 – May 30
WITH THE PRIMA DONNETTES – October 22 – February 5
AMERICAN PIE – December 31 – April 23
AND OTHER LIFE LESSONS FROM VAUDEVILLE – February 18 – June 7
OUT OF BOUNDS MATCH UP – October 18 – January 3
WRITE A PLAY
RAP-Punzel – September 23 – November 14