The story of the immigrant experience is one to which audiences from different backgrounds can relate but is rarely told. A few theatrical productions, however, do speak on the worldwide refugee crisis.
The immersive theatrical production “Flight” tells the story of two orphaned Afghan boys as they travel through Europe to try to find freedom.
The Tempe Center for the Arts and ASU Gammage will present “Flight” from January 17 to February 1 inside the arts center’s Lakeside all-purpose room.
Developed by the Scottish touring theater company Vox Motus, “Flight” is based on Caroline Brothers’ novel “Hinterland” and was adapted by Oliver Emanuel. The production is presented by ASU Gammage’s Beyond series.
Michael Reed, senior director of programs and organizational initiatives for ASU Gammage, saw “Flight” at an Edinburgh performing arts festival and it stood out.
“It was just brilliantly realized, how it communicates the story of two boys running for their lives. It is a very unique story that aligns with the immigrant crisis all over the globe,” Reed says.
The show uses miniature dioramas, a sound recording and lighting and sound effects to tell the two brothers’ story.
Instead of a traditional theater space, audience members sit in personal booths. Each viewer watches the dioramas move around them on a revolving carousel and experiences sound and music through headphones.
“Your senses are enveloped by it. It makes for a powerful experience,” Reed says.
The show tells a powerful story of how immigrants can persevere despite adversity.
“It is about courage, resourcefulness and the power of spirit,” Reed says.
The production is meant for older audiences, as it contains adult themes such as abuse.
Reed says “Flight” fits with ASU Gammage’s goal of presenting pieces that speak on larger international topics. Following the experience, patrons can unwind and discuss the show.
“For ASU Gammage, it is important to bring globally and locally relevant stories here,” Reed says.
Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, 480.350.2822, tempecenterforthearts.com, various times Friday, January 17, to Saturday, February 1, $20 for general admission and $10 for students.