NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The Jefferson Performing Arts Society will present “FLY,” a play written by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Kahn, about World War II Tuskegee airmen. It premieres in Louisiana the weekends of February 4-6 and February 11-13 at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center in Metairie.
The production is directed by New Orleans native Tommye Myrick, recipient of the 2020 Big Easy Lifetime Achievement in Theater award. Ms. Myrick also won the 1992 Big Easy Entertainment Award for Best Drama and Best Director for August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ at the Petit Theatre, and the 1999 Big Easy Entertainment Award for Best Director for ‘Flyin’ West’ at the Southern Rep Theater . She is the former artistic director of Southern University and associate director of the Center for African and African American Studies and the former executive director of the New Orleans African American Museum.
“FLY” tells the story of the 332nd Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Forces known as the “Tuskegee Airmen”. It traces the experiences of four black military personnel – three Americans and one from the West Indies – as they train for combat against German aircraft, told through the eyes of a survivor as he attends the President’s inauguration. Barak Obama. Using the military experience of the 1940s as a microcosm of race relations in America, the play illustrates how these men fought racism at home while fighting fascism abroad, and how their successes led to greater equality. in the armed forces and eventually spawned the civil rights movement.
“FLY” combines live action video, military marches, actual combat footage, and vibrant sound effects and lighting, all contributing to a stellar 90-minute, no-intermission presentation.
“America has much to learn from these voiceless brave souls who fought to keep America free. Despite a system of government that denied them full citizenship, they answered the call to arms to defend and protect this country. Their sacrifice and courage must never be forgotten, omitted or diminished.” —Tommy Myrick, Director
“The play is about lifting yourself up from the ground, from what’s holding you back, reaching for your dream and lifting yourself up to that place of mind and heart that is heaven.” — Ricardo Kahn, co-writer
“FLY” operates for two weekends in February: Friday to Sunday, February 4 to 6, and February 11 to 13. Performances Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m.
For the complete schedule, directions to the Jefferson Performing Arts Center, and ticket information, visit www.jpas.org or call the box office at 504-885-2000. School day shows are also available. The all-local cast and artistic team are comprised of cast, crew, and designers from the Greater New Orleans area.