The TJC theatre department is taking flight under the wing of Dr. David Crawford in Arthur Giron’s new play “Flight,” April 14 through April 18.
“Flight” was chosen not only for its content but because Giron is a good friend of Dr. Crawford.
“I like to do his work and he likes to do mine. That’s why we are such good friends. We like each other’s work,” said Crawford, who is directing the production.
Dr. Crawford and Giron met in the summer of 2004 at a workshop in New York while Crawford was doing his off-Broadway play “Harvest,” which Giron sponsored. They worked together for the first time in the play “Becoming Memories.” Crawford is taking this play in the direction of “three boards and a passion,” meaning there is a bare bone stage set so that the audience can use its imagination, giving the audience a “what if feeling.”
The play doesn’t focus so much on how the Wright Brothers flying machine actually works, but instead on the family memoir of the Wright Brothers who actually didn’t like each other very much.
The play shows a family that holds its center and rises above the rest because of the unconditional love and support of the mother.
The cast consists of only five actors, one being the director’s son, Caden Crawford as Wilbur Wright and Corey Finzel, who also starred in “Singin’ in the Rain,” as Orville Wright.
“The reason why the Wright brothers were so successful in their work is because they had a thinker and a doer. Orville being the doer and Wilbur the thinker,” Finzel said.
He is excited for the play because their cast is able to work so well together.
The cast has been rehearsing since March 15. They have been trying to perfect the feat of bringing a bicycle race to the stage. The play’s biggest attraction is their replica of the Wright’s original airplane. Glenn Shackelford has put all his effort and talent volunteering to assemble the replica. It took him two weeks to construct the framework. With a wingspan of 20 feet, he used no blueprints and did his own research online. The plane has rudders and a propeller but, motor-less, will not be flying anytime soon. Shackelford actually got a lot of his inspiration and motivation from the Wright brothers. “I woke up one early Saturday morning to Mr. Shackelford saying ‘the Wright brothers didn’t go to hardware store they found their own parts,'” said Jacque Shackelford, theatre professor. One of his biggest concerns is what is to be done with his plane when the show is over.
“At the end of each play the set is completely taken apart and I would rather them not destroy my plane,” said Glenn Shackelford.
Box Office hours are weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m. To make reservations call (903) 510-2212.