Britt Byrd Leads Cast of ANGELS WITHOUT WINGS in World Premiere Production at Darkhorse 8/2-5

July 27
10:40 AM 2012


Angels Without Wings, described as "the patriotic story of six women who beat the odds to become the first women in flight in the Army Air Corps during the World War II era" will land at Nashville's Darkhorse Theatre for an August 2-5 world premiere engagement.

Angels Without Wings "is sure to touch the hearts of anyone grateful to our men and women in the Armed Services. A talented and passionate group of eight local performers will portray women's stories from the historic WASP program," according to a press release.

Angels Without Wings was first presented as a staged reading last year in Metro Parks' New Play Reading Series at the Z. Alexander Looby Theatre. Now, it is making its premiere as a full stage production at the Darkhorse Theater.

Singer/songwriter turned playwright and director Jamie Cutler originally wrote the play as a musical based on the life of her mother, one of the women who made history during World War II and finally received her wings in 1994.

"It was hard for the women to discuss those days since they went for so long without recognition. I am honored to be the vessel that is spilling over the story about the first women in flight in the Army Air Corps," Cutler said.

"These women not only changed the nation but led the way for women to work in society in new ways. That's when Mom began to tell me the story for the next fiveyears until her passing."

Cutler also adapted the story into a book before it became a stage play.

In the words of the song-"Flying Ninety Niners"-that Cutler wrote for her mother's 80th birthday, "they served the nation with courage and dedication. They taught us all to fly, to reach for the sky."

Britt Byrd leads the cast as Lois, a Philadelphian of Jewish heritage who has a knack for keeping the girls in line in the absence of the program's commanding officer, Major Marcus, played by Kevin Shell. Shell has fraternal chemistry with Sean Hills who plays younger brother Guy Marcus, the ladies' man who works on the planes in close contact with the women.

Farm girl and tomboy Madge, played by Halee-Catherine Culicerto, is on a journey of self-discovery, which leaves her and the other girls in the program-"They served the nation with courage and dedication. They taught us all to fly, to reach for the sky."-Lydia (Courtney M. McClellan), Peggy (Briana Ferrié), Sissy (Elizabeth Walsh), and Mary Jane (Kyla Lowder), interminably tied together.

The cast will perform Angels Without Wings August 2-5, at the Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Members of the Armed Services are encouraged and welcomed to attend Angels Without Wings at a discount of 2 for 1 (at $20) with a valid Military I.D. at the door.

Tickets are $15 in advance online and $20 at the door. Tickets are available online at Tickets also will be on sale at the box office of the Darkhorse Theater one hour before each performance.




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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors - the history of which can be traced to 1989 and the first presentation of The First Night Awards - which honor outstanding theater artisans from Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and also includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors recognition. Midwinter's First Night honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. An accomplished director, Ellis helmed productions of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, all in their Nashville premieres, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show. Ellis was recognized by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, with The Larry Keeton Theatre's production of Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest set for spring 2016.

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