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Production History

Defying Gravity

October 5 - 21, 2007

October, 2007 saw the Nashville première of Defying Gravity, by Jane Anderson. This portrait of human aspiration focuses on Christa McAuliffe, the teacher who flew in the space shuttle Challenger, as seen by the world, and as remembered by her daughter.

The action of the play defies linear time, as the character of Teacher appears in class, aboard Challenger on the launch pad, and with her daughter Elizabeth, who shifts between adult narrator and five year-old as she recalls the days before her mother lifted off for the stars - forever. Other characters include Ed and Betty, a retired couple who have arrived in their RV to watch the launch; C.B., a NASA ground crew member; his sometime girlfriend Donna, a bartender and friend to the astronauts; and the artist Claude Monet.

The cast of Defying Gravity included Sara Sharpe, last seen with us in Nickel and Dimed, as Teacher; Keri Pisapia as Elizabeth; Alicia Ridley as Donna; Alan Lee as C.B.; Adele Akin as Betty; Jim Wright as Ed and Pat Reilly as Monet.

Audiences loved Defying Gravity, judging by the comments we received: “It was wonderful . . . to expose my children to that kind of talent. We had so many fruitful discussions about the various themes … Discussions about God and control, about living for dreams . . .”

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