Last month, while the company was workshopping an update of FCT’s 1998 family puppet musical 1001 Nights, at The Center for Puppetry Arts (CPA), I watched as one of the best puppeteers in the country brought an ordinary pillow to life as a dancing genie. Just a pillow with some tassels. And voilá—a funky, Motown-inflected genie who moved like a young Michael Jackson. Partnering with these world-class artists at the CPA reminded me that back before we officially called ourselves the Flying Carpet Theatre, we considered names that had the word “alchemy” in them. We’ve always been after transformational magic, and it remains a central element in our work.
This year, with your help, we are planning to work this kind of alchemy on Flying Carpet Theatre itself: spinning ten years of hard work and inventive artistry into shimmering success on a much bigger national stage. What does this transformation look like?
First, we take Manhattan! (and the Bronx, and Queens…) In the fall of 2012, we will bring our Atlanta hit, The Medicine Showdown, on a multi-borough tour of NYC. Taking our cue from the “throw up a tent” aesthetic of the medicine shows that we’re recreating, we will travel to multiple venues to perform for students, health professionals, and New York theater lovers. The play’s serious themes—public health communication and commercialism—are leavened with country comedy, amazing tap dance, and folksy blue grass. We can’t wait to introduce The Medicine Showdown to the Big Apple.
And after that…we go national! In 2013, we will launch a new Atlanta production and national tour of 1001 Nights. The family-friendly musical is not just a fantastic show that took the NYC Fringe Festival by storm 13 years ago, it’s also a notable early work from multi-Tony-winning composer/lyricist Robert Lopez of Avenue Q and Book of Mormon. We look forward to introducing this great show to you and audiences around the country. We know you and your families will be charmed and delighted.
And then…can I get a Hallelujah? As you know, Flying Carpet’s mission is to tell great stories set within a milieu of a specific performance genre. Our next production-in-development, Caught Up, will take audiences to church, telling the tale of a heretical modern day evangelical preacher through four Sunday services that incorporate song, dance, public speaking, and spectacle. This project will convert even the most skeptical audiences into Flying Carpet believers.
In our work to date, your support has been the magical element that has allowed us to meld base materials into theatrical gold. Please help us continue our enchanted ride with a contribution—each $100 donation pays for a costume, each $500 a puppet, each $3,500 gift supports an actor’s performance, and $12,000 allows us to rent a theatre for a production’s run. We appreciate your participation at the level most comfortable for you.
We are grateful for your involvement and invaluable support. See you at the theater!
Adam Koplan, Artistic Director