Defying Gravity

by  Jane Anderson

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  3m, 4f

"Flies high in its attempt to describe man's fascination with space and its conquest.... You will certainly not be bored. " - New York Post
"[A] clever and uplifting fantasy ... [with] ear catching musings about art, religion and the outer limits of human possibility." - The New York Times

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Defying Gravity

by  Jane Anderson

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 4f
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Not Applicable
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Cutting Approved for Competition
    • Monologues
    • Scene work
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

This free structured look at the 1986 Challenger disaster places the teacher who died with six others as they hurtled into space at the center of an exploration of our need to reach beyond ourselves and dare the universe. Defying Gravity artfully interweaves the past with the present and the lives of participants and bystanders, drawing parallels among painter Claude Monet's artistic quest, the zest of the teacher selected to the first civilian astronaut, the perspectives of her grieving daughter, the aspirations of elderly tourists who drive their Winnebago to Florida to watch the space shot and dream of hotels in space, the guilt felt by a NASA mechanic, and his girlfriend's fear of heights.
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Reviews

"Flies high in its attempt to describe man's fascination with space and its conquest.... You will certainly not be bored. " - New York Post

"[A] clever and uplifting fantasy ... [with] ear catching musings about art, religion and the outer limits of human possibility." - The New York Times

"A lovely piece... It floats gracefully in the big blue yonder of the imagination... letting Anderson's delicate, tender and human attitude toward her characters come through... One by one they rise out of their earthbound selves... to look down on the world from a new perspective." - New York Daily News

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Flying Flying
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: New Millennium/21st Century, 1980s
  • Setting: 1986 and twenty years later.

Casting

3m, 4f
ELIZABETH - a 5-year-old, played by an adult
TEACHER - her mother
MONET - the painter
C.B. - a mechanic on the NASA ground crew
DONNA - a bartender in a Cocoa beach hang-out, African-American
BETTY & ED - a retired couple in their 60s
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Authors

Jane Anderson

Jane Anderson’s plays have been produced Off-Broadway and in theaters around the country, including Actors Theater of Louisville, Arena Stage, Williamstown, The McCarter Theater, Long Wharf, and The Pasadena Playhouse. Plays include: The Quality of Life (2008 Ovation Award, Best New Play), Looking for Normal (2001 Ovat ...

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Defying Gravity was first presented by Daryl Roth Off-Boadway at The American Place Theater in New York City on November 2, 1997. It was directed by Michael Wilson.


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