Tony Award winner Anna D. Shapiro (August: Osage County) directs the play about a man who creates a flying machine out of balloons and a lawnchair. The play is inspired by a real-life event in 1982, when an amateur aviator, with the help of his girlfriend, took flight with a cluster of balloons over California.
The musical The Flight of the Lawnchair Man tells a similar tale of a man who left earth via balloons.
The current Disney animated film, also called "Up," is a fantasy about an old man who attaches thousands of toy balloons to his house and transports himself (and a young boy) to an exotic land.
Carpenter's Up runs through Aug. 23 in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre in Chicago. The cast also features ensemble member (and artistic director) Martha Lavey with Rachel Brosnahan, Jake Cohen, Tony Hernandez and Lauren Katz.
* According to Steppenwolf, "On the best day of his life, Walter [Barford] built a flying machine that reached the clouds. Ever since, he's tried to invent new ways to fly while his wife keeps the family afloat. Up is a quirky, bittersweet tale about escaping the boundaries of the everyday and how we dream ourselves into a future."
Carpenter is an award-winning playwright whose works have been produced at theatres across the country including Arena Stage, Lincoln Center and the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville.
The design team for Up includes Dan Ostling (sets), Mara Blumenfeld (costumes), Ann G. Wrightson (lights) Richard Woodbury (sound) and David Singer (composition). Laura D. Glenn is the stage manager, and Deb Styer is the assistant stage manager.
Steppenwolf Downstairs Theatre is located at 1650 N. Halsted Street in Chicago. For more information call (312) 335-1650 or visit www.steppenwolf.org.