Six Figures Theatre Company launches its new theatre space with a production of Kate Aspengren's Flyer the story of one woman’s passion for both flight and occasional flights of fancy. Flyer will run Oct. 29-Nov. 20 at the West End Theatre in Manhattan.
Flyer features Tandy Cronyn, Nick Dantos, Monique Gramby, Andi Hogan, Gay Isaacs, Michael Latshaw, Shayne Mishler, Joseph O’Brien, Clea Rivera and Susan P. Vaughn.
Aspengren's story dramatizes the real-life "Mercury 13," America's best female candidates for the Mercury Space program, who were bumped from the space program by Congress in the '60s.
Even after completing the same rigorous training and testing administered to their male counterparts, the "Mercury 13" came to an end in 1962, when a Senate subcommittee determined that women were an unnecessary complication in the US-Soviet Space Race.
The valiant struggle of these women, including real life "Mercury 13" pilot Jerrie Cobb, is portrayed in Flyer. Once ranked in the top two percentile of both men and women tested for astronaut training, Cobb, now 67, has over 10,000 fight hours to her credit and now flies antibiotics, seeds, clothing and doctors to assist primitive villagers in Central and South America. The Jerrie Cobb Foundation will benefit from the opening night proceeds of Flyer. The foundation was established with the goal of getting Cobb finally assigned to a mission, even this late in her life.
Playwright Aspengren is the author of Dear Mrs. Martin, Mother’s Day and House of Wonders, all of which are published by Samuel French. Aspengren is the recipient of the 1992 Robert J. Pickering Award for Playwriting Excellence, and her work has also been seen at Actors Theatre of Louisville, the New American Comedy Festival, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and the Great Platte River Playwrights Festival.
Six Figures' new home, The West End Theatre, boasts a 60-foot dome ceiling and is located at West 86 Street and West End Avenue, in a converted space within the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew.
The company presented the original productions of Clowning the Bard, Clowning the Bible, Lone Star Grace and Alabama Rain in New York. Six Figures artistic director Linda Ames Key directs. Performances run Thur.-Sat. at 8 PM and Sun. at 2 PM at The West End Theatre, located at 263 West 86 Street. Opening night is Nov. 1. Opening night proceeds benefit the Jerrie Cobb Foundation. Reservations can be made by calling (212) 696 8931. For information visit www.sixfigures.com.
-- By Murdoch McBride