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Arts Alive! podcast: LAB’s ‘Fly Away Home’

Bill DeYoung



Situated on E. Henderson Avenue, where Tampa means Ybor City, LAB Theatre Project is a black box venue where only original works – plays that have not been previously produced – are mounted.

LAB founder and executive producer Owen Roberston returns to the Arts Alive! podcast today, in the company of actress Mandy Keen. They both appear in the LAB production of Fly Away Home, a drama by Gwendolyn Rice and set in 1914.

Robertson plays lauded architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who receives an urgent message during a visit to Chicago. His stately, rural Wisconsin home, he learns, is burning.

It’s a torturous six-hour train ride, which Wright must spend in the company of Edwin Cheney, the ex-husband of Wright’s mistress; Cheney happens to be on the same train. Both men are desperate for news of the unfolding disaster, and neither has much respect for the other. Brooks is portrayed by Larry Corwin.

This was a true event, although history did not record what the men talked about on the journey. Playwright Rice, an expert on the famously eccentric architect, dramatically fills in the blanks: They are joined by young reporter Mary Evelyn Brooks (Keen), who’s eager to finish up an interview she and Wright had begun in Chicago.

All three of these people have secrets they aren’t ready to reveal.

Fly Away Home is directed by Katie Calahan; Gwendolyn Rice will attend tonight’s performance (8 p.m.), and participate in an after show talk-back with cast and audience.

Click on the arrow to listen to the interview.

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