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'Fly' ready for takeoff at Playhouse

Robert Karma Robinson, Donte Bonner, Carter Redwood, Donald Paul and Omar Edwards star in FLY at the Flat Rock Playhouse. Robert Karma Robinson, Donte Bonner, Carter Redwood, Donald Paul and Omar Edwards star in FLY at the Flat Rock Playhouse.

HonorAir, retired Brig. Gen. Frank Blazey and the Carl Sandburg Home park ranger who was formerly posted at the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site are teaming up to support the Flat Rock Playhouse production of “Fly,” the story of Tuskegee airmen.

“What better place can a World War II story be told than in Henderson County, home to the HonorAir organization,” said Dave Adams, a founding member of the HonorAir organization. “HonorAir spawned a nationwide consciousness to help WWII veterans get to visit their national memorial in Washington. The Tuskegee Airmen were part of the ‘Greatest Generation’ that HonorAir was dedicated to serve. And we know that Flat Rock Playhouse can tell the story.”
Besides the support of HonorAir, the Playhouse enlisted Tyrone Brandyburg, the superintendent for the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, as a consultant for this production of Fly. Brandyburg has been posted twice at Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site in Alabama.
Co-written by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan, “Fly” brings to the stage the experiences and challenges of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American flyers in the U.S. military during World War II. Hailing from Chicago, Harlem, rural Iowa and the West Indies, each arrive at boot camp with a dream to serve their country as combat fighter pilots, overcoming many obstacles including prejudice along the way
"The Tuskegee Airmen were highly successful as military aviators in World War II. Nearly 1000 young men flew over 1500 combat missions against a determined enemy, receiving praise and respect for their significant accomplishments,” Blazey said. “Despite our country's attitude toward integration they should be remembered now for their distinguished service to our nation and to those believing that freedom is not free.”
Starring as the four Tuskegee Airmen are Donte Bonner, Donald Paul, Carter Redwood and Robert Karma Robinson. Omar Edwards will perform the role of the Tap Griot, a “storyteller” who uses tap dance to set the mood and tone throughout the play. Sharing the stage as the domineering commanding officers are Christian Carmean, Michael MacCauley and Scott Treadway.
Fly opens Sept. 10, and runs through Sept. 27. Performances are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday eand 2 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. For tickets call the Playhouse box office at 828-693-0731, toll-free at 866-732-8008 or visit www.flatrockplayhouse.org.