Up (The Man in the Flying Chair)

by  Bridget Carpenter

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

"A brilliant play...original, poignant, moving, sad and funny. I have rarely sat in a theater audience that laughed so hard at one moment and, at the next, sat so still you'd swear you could hear the actors' hearts beating together on stage." - Eugene Register-Guard

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Up (The Man in the Flying Chair)

by  Bridget Carpenter

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 3f

Additional Info

Up invites us into the life of Walter Griffin, a failed inventor obsessed with Philippe Petit's famed 1974 wire-walk between the twin World Trade Center towers. Walter's greatest moment of glory – a flight on a lawn chair festooned with helium balloons – is now long behind him, though Walter dreams of inventing something wonderful once more. His wife, Helen, has become disillusioned and frustrated at being the family's only breadwinner. Their teenage son, Mikey, harbors dreams of his own: after befriending Maria, a pregnant girl in his class, Mikey becomes involved in her family's phone sales business, with surprising results. When Walter finally takes a job, Mike keeps his a secret, and Helen allows herself to dream of a more secure life. But when Helen discovers the truth about Walter's employment, it becomes clear to this family that life itself is lived on a wire not unlike Petit's, this one strung between happiness and sadness.
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Reviews

REVIEWS

"A brilliant play...original, poignant, moving, sad and funny. I have rarely sat in a theater audience that laughed so hard at one moment and, at the next, sat so still you'd swear you could hear the actors' hearts beating together on stage." - Eugene Register-Guard

"The incredible and beautiful conclusion leaves the audience thinking, philosophizing and talking in the car all the way home...a perfect mix of comedy and drama." - Grants Pass Daily Courier

"Not only has the playwright nailed the ultra-cool cadence of the next generation, but she also has captured an essential truth about the lure of the impossible dream, its freedom and its danger." - Mercury News

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1990s
  • Setting: San Pedro, California. 1990s
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Casting

3m, 3f
WALTER GRIFFIN - 44
HELEN GRIFFIN - 38
MIKEY GRIFFIN - 15
MARIA - 16
AUNT CHRIS - 35-55
PHILIPPE PETIT - 35-50, also plays STUDENT and UPS MAN
STUDENT - 16, played by the actor playing Philippe
UPS MAN - played by the actor playing Philippe
FIREFIGHTER - 20-30
HELEN’S MOTHER - 50, played by the actress who plays Aunt Chris
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Authors

Bridget Carpenter

Bridget Carpenter has written many plays. Her work has been produced by Steppenwolf, Center Stage, Berkeley Repertory Company, Trinity Rep, Syracuse Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, among many others. Plays include Fall (Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), The Faculty Room (Kesselrin ...

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Up premiered at Perseverance Theatre in Douglas, AK in May 2003.

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