University of South Carolina

'Flight' dramatizes story of first female aviators

The University of South Carolina department of theatre and dance and Pacific Performance Project/east will reprise the original play, “Flight,” by professors Steven Pearson and Robyn Hunt, at Longstreet Theatre May 27-30.

Performance times are 8 p.m. nightly. Tickets are $10; discounted $7 tickets are available for students and seniors over 60. Tickets are available at the door.

Longstreet Theatre is located at 1300 Greene St. at the corner of Greene and Sumter streets.

USC professor Steven Pearson is directing the production, which was written by Hunt.

“Flight” is being produced through their performance company, Pacific Performance Project/east, with support from the USC Arts Institute and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Pearson describes “Flight” as a “theatrical poem” that explores the thrill and daring of the first women aviators. The play’s narrative follows two French actresses who are preparing to make a history-making flight from Paris to Moscow in 1913, a time when, for women, being an actress was considered improper and being an aviator was considered impossible.

Workshop performances for “Flight” were first held last November at the Center for Performance Experiment at USC's Hamilton Gymnasium. Hunt, who has fully rewritten the text and who will also be performing, says collaboration with the actors during the rehearsal process might result in even more alterations.

“We are working now to streamline, tighten and yet keep the essence of what excites us about this play,” Hunt said. “The play shows proof of the exciting inventions and innovations made by women before World War I, in spite of the fact that those stories have seemingly dropped out of history.”

The show's creators are excited to see it produced in Longstreet Theatre, which Hunt says “should improve the aerial work, acoustics and audience relation to the actors.”

The major set piece of “Flight” is Steve Pearson's exhaustively researched recreation of the Bleriot XI monoplane flown by many of aviation's pioneers, which is “flown” during the production.

Costume design is by Lisa Martin-Stuart, head of the costume design track in the theatre program. Lighting design is by Jeremy Winchester, assistant professor of lighting design at the University of Evansville (IN) and frequent collaborator with Pacific Performance Project/east.

“Flight” is the third in a trilogy of original plays which Pearson calls “riffs” on the works of Russian playwright Anton Chekov.

For more information about “Flight” or to schedule interviews, contact Kevin Bush in the USC Department of Theatre and Dance at 803-777-9353.

'Flight'

  • What: "Theatrical poem" that explores the thrill and daring of the first women aviators
  • Who: Written by theater professors Steven Pearson and Robyn Hunt
  • When: May 27-30, 8 p.m. nightly
  • Where: Longstreet Theatre

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 05/19/10 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 05/19/10 @ 3:18 PM | Permalink