Four African-American men in khaki miliary uniforms sing and dance on a mostly dark stage.
Photo of Mark Hairston, Christopher Wilson, Eric Berryman and Damian Thompson by Scott Suchman.

Fly

They fought for freedom abroad … and at home.

date September 21, 2012 — October 21, 2012

Based on the experiences of the Tuskegee Airmen, Fly is the powerful story of four African-American military pioneers who proved themselves as officers and pilots during World War II.

The play follows these courageous heroes hailing from Chicago, Harlem, rural Iowa and the Caribbean as they train to fly combat aircraft. In spite of the overt racism they encounter, the men form a lasting brotherhood and fly with distinction, paving the way for the desegregation of the American military and the later Civil Rights Movement.

The production inventively combines live action, video footage and the inspirational “Tap Griot,” a dancing storyteller who expresses the anger, fear and triumph that the officers cannot. Co-author Ricardo Khan directs the Washington premiere of this patriotic tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen.

Part of The Lincoln Legacy Project.

Artistic Team

Written by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan
Director Richard Khan
Choreographer Hope Clarke
Scenic Design Beowolf Boritt
Costume Design Toni-Leslie James
Lighting Design Rui Rita
Original Music and Sound Design John Gromada
Projection Design Clint Allen
Fight Direction Rick Sordelet
Dialect and Voice Direction Leigh Wilson Smiley
Production Stage Manager Brandon Prendergast
Assistant State Manager Kate Kilbane
Production Advisor Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr.
Casting Pat McCorkle, CSA; Nicholas Stimler

Cast

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Omar Edwards

The Tap Griot

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Christopher Wilson

Chet Simpkins

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Eric Berryman

W.W.

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Mark Hairston

Oscar, Dance Captain

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Damian Thompson

J. Allen

Silhouette of a human head on black.

James Konicek

Captain O’Hurley/Instructor 2/Understudy

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Matt Bassett

Staff Sergeant/Instructor 1/Barman/Bomber Co-Pilot Shaw/Fight Captain/Undestudy

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Clark Young

Instructor 3/Colonel Snopes/Bomber Pilot Reynolds/Understudy

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Kahlil X. Daniel

Understudy

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Leo Manzari

Understudy

From the Gallery

Four African-American men in khaki military uniforms stand and sing on a stage. Behind them are chairs and large trunks, and a fifth man in modern dress singing. A silhouette of a jet fighter is projected on the back wall.

Eric Berryman, Damian Thompson and Mark Hairston with (background) Omar Edwards in the Ford’s Theatre production of “Fly,” directed by Ricardo Khan. Photo by Scott Suchman.

An African-American man in a flight suit sits and talks. Behind him another man sits in shadow.

Christopher Wilson in the Ford’s Theatre production of “Fly,” directed by Ricardo Khan. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Four African-American men in khaki military uniforms stand at attention while be addressed by a white officer.

James Konicek as Capt. O’Hurley with Eric Berryman, Christopher Wilson, Mark Hairston and Damian Thompson as Tuskegee Airmen in the Ford’s Theatre production of “Fly,” directed by Ricardo Khan. Photo by Scott Suchman.

An African-American man with dreadlocks dressed in green dances with a cap in one hand. Behind him are black and white images of a military bomber against clouds.

Omar Edwards as the Tap Griot in the Ford’s Theatre production of “Fly,” directed by Ricardo Khan. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Two African-American men in khaki military uniforms shake hands.

Eric Berryman and Christopher Wilson in the Ford’s Theatre production of “Fly,” directed by Ricardo Khan. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Three African-American men in khaki military uniforms stand at attention. Behind them images of clouds and American flags are projected on the back wall.

Mark Hairston, Eric Berryman and Christopher Wilson as Tuskegee Airmen in the Ford’s Theatre production of “Fly,” directed by Ricardo Khan. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Four African-American men in khaki military uniforms squat or kneel in front of a white man in an aviator jacket standing on a trunk. They take notes while the man speaks to them.

Mark Hairston, Damian Thompson, Christopher Wilson and Eric Berryman as Tuskegee Airmen, with James Konicek as Capt. O’Hurley in the Ford’s Theatre production of “Fly,” directed by Ricardo Khan. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Four African-American men in khaki military uniforms and flight helmets sit and mime piloting a plane, while a white man in an aviator jacket and dark glasses mimes speaking into a radio.

Mark Hairston, Damian Thompson, Christopher Wilson and Eric Berryman as Tuskegee Airmen, with James Konicek as Capt. O’Hurley in the Ford’s Theatre production of “Fly,” directed by Ricardo Khan. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Three African American men in khaki military uniforms and aviator jackets stand at attention. Behind them a man with dreadlocks wearing a military cap spreads out his arms. In the back of the stage two white men dressed as military officer stand at attention.

The cast of the Ford’s Theatre production of “Fly,” directed by Ricardo Khan. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Photograph of an African-American man in a flight suit and a flight helmet.

Eric Berryman as W.W. in the Ford’s Theatre production of “Fly,” directed by Ricardo Khan. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Four African-American men in khaki military uniforms watch a white man in an officer's outfit as he yells in their direction.

The cast of the Ford’s Theatre production of “Fly,” directed by Ricardo Khan. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Four African-American men in khaki military uniforms sit and listen to a white man in an officer's uniform holding a stack of books.

The cast of the Ford’s Theatre production of “Fly,” directed by Ricardo Khan. Photo by Scott Suchman.

An African-American man with dreadlocks dressed in green dances with a cap in one hand. Behind him are black and white images of a military bomber against clouds.

Omar Edwards as the Tap Griot in the Ford’s Theatre production of “Fly,” directed by Ricardo Khan. Photo by Scott Suchman.