We have shifted programmatic energies away from live performance and into two basic categories. New play development and Web-based conversations and podcasts.
Untitled Joycelyn Elders Project
We are ecstatic to announce that we have partnered with Dr. Joycelyn Elders, the second woman, second person of color, and first African American to serve as Surgeon General of the United States – who has given her blessing for The Flying Carpet Theatre to create a one-person show about her life-story. Additionally, we are prepping other solo shows.
Mark Gindick: Death Defying Schtick
Rich with humor, honesty, and historical sweep, Death Defying Schtick blends a major American clown’s deeply personal narrative with the historical context of circus comedy. From award-winning clown and physical comic, Mark Gindick [only clown to attain featured-performer status in the circus “trifecta” Big Apple Circus, Ringling Bros, and Cirque du Soleil] comes a true-life story about a father and son’s all-too-brief relationship, and the historic roots of death in comedy. Part masterful and hilarious clown-show, part memoir, and part TED-style lecture/demonstration, Death Defying Schtick targets an audience of students and general public who enjoy circus clowning, its history, and technique. After years of working with students, FCT has discovered that overcoming family hardships, especially death, is THE most discussed topic in post-show reflections. With its humorous but poignant approach to death, Death Defying Schtick will engage students on this tough topic.
Through published studies, psychologists are now confirming what clowns have known for millennia: Humans can think death is funny. Gindick proves this through historic and newly invented clown routines about death. When his dad dies of cancer at the age of 51, teenage Mark, already overcome with grief and loss, uncovers a family secret: all the men in his family die at 51. In trying to create a life that would make his late dad proud, Mark excavates his memories. As this piece builds to its climax, Gindick’s searing reminiscences flow into laugh-out-loud clown routines. Mark periodically dons his “professor hat”, sharing his breadth of knowledge and delivering a master-class in the historic relationship of comedy to death. For example, a memory of his dad inspires a personal “bit” that Mark created for a circus tour. As the laughs subside, Mark parallels his own bit with a classic routine, demonstrated as only a virtuoso clown can.
Alpin Hong in Gershwin’s America
FCT expands its collaboration with concert pianist Alpin Hong.
George Gershwin (1898-1937), “America’s Composer,” synthesized jazz, classical music, opera, and ragtime into his unique style. Pianist Alpin Hong has played Gershwin’s music since his days as a young piano prodigy, but he only truly unlocked his hailed Gershwin interpretations by wrestling with the intersections between his personal journey and Gershwin’s. Weaving Gershwin’s life story with his own through anecdotes and autobiographical recollections about his unique American-ness, Hong delivers world-class interpretations of some of our country’s most beloved songs in this tale about music, being a second-generation immigrant, and what it means to be American.