“Virtu-STORY-osity,” Flying Carpet Theatre’s series of one-person shows, stormed through three boroughs of New York during the first half of 2016. This next stage of the “Virtu-STORY-osity” series included several performances of Alpin Hong: Chasing Chopin, an educational tour of Andrew Nemr: Rising to the Tap, and the beginning stages of developing a new one-person show with musician Shontina Vernon.
Chasing Chopin witnessed an amazing run of shows during this period of time. Following on the heels of the performances at the Bruno Walter Auditorium in December 2015, Alpin was again featured as part of Lincoln Center Education’s “Meet the Artist” series March 23–25. In addition, a packed performance of Chasing Chopin was given at the National Opera Center the evening of March 24 for FCT friends, family, and supporters.
In May, FCT was proud to take our latest one-person show Andrew Nemr: Rising to the Tap on a mini-tour of the New York City boroughs as we presented workshops of the shows to college and high-school audiences in the Bronx and Queens. On May 10–12 Andrew Nemr along with FCT Artistic Director Adam Koplan visited Queens College, Marble Hill High School, and Bronx Community Charter and presented this early version of the show for over 300 students.
In Rising to the Tap, virtuoso tap dancer Andrew Nemr’s tells his life story through a combination of high level musicianship, improvisation, and physical performance. Throughout the show Nemr portrays his upbringing as the child of Lebanese immigrants in New Jersey, his relationships with tap dance legends such as Gregory Hines and Savion Glover, and harsh realities of being a professional artist and dancer.
After each performance, students were invited to talk with Nemr and Koplan on the next steps for the show and learn more about their lives as artists. Several students expressed an immediate connection to Rising to the Tap through the scenes where Nemr reenacted his experiences as a teenager.
Additionally, FCT has begun a new collaboration with writer/musician/performer Shontina Vernon on a new addition to the “Virtu-STORY-osity” series. In April FCT and Vernon came together to create the beginnings of a new one-person show that explores childhood and the criminal justice system in America.
“Virtu-STORY-osity” will continue through 2016 and 2017 with performances nationwide of Chasing Chopin, the continued development of Rising to the Tap and our new collaboration with Vernon.