Tampa Repertory Theatre will present a live, virtual production of award-winning Tampa Bay playwright Sheila Cowley’s World War II drama Flying on Sunday, August 16 at 3 PM, on the Zoom videoconferencing platform. The production is helmed by internationally renowned stage director L. Peter Callender. A live talkback with the playwright, director and cast will be held following the performance. Patrons may register to see Flying from a link at http://www.tamparep.org/flying2020, where they may also make a voluntary donation to TampaRep in any amount. Registered patrons will receive a Zoom link by email for viewing the play. Revealing the little-known story of World War II’s pioneering Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs), Flying tells the tale of Susan, a skilled pilot who, barred from combat missions by her sex, performed such essential duties asferrying planes and towing training targets in order to free male pilots for combat duty during the war. Drawn from oral histories and memoirs of women who served in the WASP program, Flying explores the aftermath of war and the quiet, daily acts of heroism that never earn a medal. TampaRep previously staged Flying in 2017, and was rewarded with sellout crowds and three 2018 Creative Loafing Best of the Bay Awards, including an award for Cowley’s script. Flying has been produced in New York, Chicago, Austin (Texas), Salt Lake City and London. It was named a “Featured Finalist” in Chicago’s Blue Ink Festival and runner-up for the Todd McNerney Playwriting Award.
“We’re thrilled to be back in production, and to be bringing to life this moving, funny script under the sure hand of L. Peter Callender and with an extraordinary cast,” said TampaRep Producing Artistic Director and CEO Emilia Sargent. “Flying is a perfect appetizer to the exciting 10th season we have in store for just as soon as it’s safe to go back to the theatre. Until that time, TampaRep also has more virtual productions on the way.”
As part TampaRep’s commitment to amplify the voices of BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of Color) artists, Flying is performed by an all-BIPOC cast. Well-known as both actor and director to patrons of St. Petersburg’s American Stage Company, L. Peter Callender has appeared on Broadway, off-Broadway and in regional theaters across the
US, and has performed internationally in Japan, England and France. At American Stage, Callender directed critically acclaimed productions of A Raisin in the Sun, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Jitney and others. Callender is the artistic director of San Francisco’s African- American Shakespeare Company. More information about TampaRep and its mission is available at TampaRep.org.