Amelia Jones’s life is falling apart. Her father has left, her mother is usually drunk, and her brother, a high school senior before being expelled, must now try to support the family, such as it is. Then there’s Courtney and her posse who are dedicated to bullying Amelia, who finds herself with few friends. Now, another challenge. In a long-standing school tradition, each freshman must make a presentation on an American hero. Failing to choose a hero for herself, Amelia is assigned the historic female pilot, Amelia Earhart. Soon Earhart begins showing up in Amelia’s daily life offering advice. She encourages young Amelia to take chances, push boundaries, and overcome fear. No one else can see or hear Earhart, and Amelia questions her own sanity. Is the presence of an imaginary friend a sign of deeper issues, or can Amelia rise above her problems and soar to new heights? With focused lighting allowing for simple staging and props, this deeply moving and inspiring play offers challenging roles for Earhart, Amelia, and her mother. Earhart’s lines are all taken from her actual letters to her family and friends written throughout her life. Full evening.
PLAYWRIGHT TREY CLARKSON TALKS ABOUT HIS PLAY
Q: What inspired you to write this play? What did you try to achieve?
After success writing "Rosie the Riveter," I wanted to tackle another play about a famous woman in history. With this play, I wanted to explore the extended metaphor of Earhart's disappearance because of her unwillingness to give up on her dreams with the hopelessness many teens feel regarding their own personal struggles. Many young people feel a disconnect with history; however, the heroes of the past can still inspire us to overcome hardship and persevere. Using Earhart's own personal letters to her family, I was hoping to represent the character in both a historical perspective as well as using an approachable, modern take.
Q: What's your favorite part or line in the play? Why?
I love the scenes with Amelia and Earhart alone on stage working through their issues. Bridging the past and the present while blending the emotional, the comical, and the absurd make for simple yet dynamic stage work for both actors and designers.
Q: Tell us a little about the characters.
Amelia is struggling with modern issues of depression, mental illness, and a broken home. When she reaches out to Earhart, is she projecting or does Amelia follow her Father down the path of instability?
Q: Anything else you'd like to add?
There is a lack of large women casts in the theatrical world. I hope that designers will choose this piece and give actresses the chance to "fly their own Atlantic" and "dare to dream."