February 6, 2023 | Vision Newspaper |
TORONTO – Theatre Gargantua is pleased to announce the premiere of The Flight, at Factory Theatre’s Mainspace, from Friday, February 10 to Saturday, February 18, 2023. This original, new work, written and performed by acclaimed theatre artist Beryl Bain (Queen Bess Productions), and directed by the fiercely creative Marcel Stewart (b current Performing Arts), explores the life of ground-breaking aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman, the first African American, and the first Native American, to hold an international pilot’s license. Coleman earned her license in France in 1921, after being unable to find anyone in the United States who would teach an African American woman to fly.
“This play is an homage to Coleman’s courage, creativity and optimism,” said Bain. “My intention for this work is to ensure that ‘Brave Bessie’ is respected and honoured. As I was working with her story it felt like we were dancing together as active partners. This story of an iconic Black and Indigenous woman who died in flight, tragically, at the tender age of 34 years old greatly inspired me.” Bain’s writing also found inspiration in the style of Harlem Renaissance era poems such as Claude McKay’s If We Must Die (1919).
Director Marcel Stewart currently serves as Artistic Director of b current Performing Arts, and Artistic Associate for SpiderWebShow Performance. “I think about transcendent Black women as I direct this piece, and how they have historically been told what they can’t do, whilst constantly proving that they not only can, but actually exceeding the challenges that confront them,” says Stewart, a multi-disciplinary arts educator and facilitator who is known for his powerful performance as Elegba in The Brothers Size (Soulpepper).
Also featured is an award winning creative and design team lineup including: Set Designer Michael Gordon Spence; Lighting Designer Shawn Henry; Projection Designer Jason J. Brown; Sound Designer Floydd Ricketts; Costume Designer Des’ree Gray, Dramaturg Lisa Codrington and Assistant Director Emerjade Simms.
Rising above economic obstacles and social barriers in the Roaring 1920s, Bessie Coleman earned the nickname “Brave Bessie”, and even her dreams were quite literally sky high. From flight school in Paris to spectacular barnstorming shows, Bessie dazzled audiences with her unique style of aviation bravery, beauty, and technological mastery.
The Flight evokes Coleman’s unshakable optimism, her determination, her vision, and the indomitable self confidence that led her to soar above the clouds, reaching ever closer to the sun.
The Flight is an intermission free, 70 minute production, and Factory Theatre is located at 125 Bathurst Street, Toronto. Showtimes are: February 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18 at 7:30pm, and matinees on February 13, 15, 16 at 1:00 pm.
SOURCE Konvo Media