College of the Arts opens theater season with Take Flight

New musical receives university premiere at Montclair State.

Montclair State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance and the John J. Cali School of Music are launching their first major collaboration of the season, the university premiere of Take Flight – a new musical about the early days of America’s age of flight.

Take Flight interweaves the stories of Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, and the Wright Brothers, as they struggle with their dreams of reaching new heights. As their dreams become reality, these pioneers of the sky learn the real costs of their sky-high ambitions.

Take Flight premiered at London’s award-winning Menier Chocolate Factory in 2007, and received its American premiere at the McCarter Theater Center in Princeton, NJ, in 2010. The team of David Shire and Richard Maltby, Jr., has created the musicals Closer Than Ever, Starting Here, Starting Now, Baby, and Big (with John Weidman). Librettist Weidman is also known for his work on Contact and his collaboration with Stephen Sondheim on Assassins and Pacific Overtures. Between them, the three collaborators have received Tony, Grammy, Emmy, and Academy Awards and several Tony nominations.

Featuring a cast of more than 24 student artists, Take Flight is a soaring and ambitious start to the College of the Arts’ 2013/14 season, and a celebration of all things new – new horizons, new challenges, and new voices in the world of musical theatre performance.

In the words of director Mark Hardy: “When we were looking for a musical that would give students a completely new experience, I immediately thought of Take Flight. It takes us back to a time when most of the world remained earthbound and offers a vivid impression of what led these mavericks to risk so much to change that. In an era of rampant commercialism in the musical theater, this musical is unabashedly about something. It reminds us what passionate yearning and endeavor mean in the midst of all the fashionable cynicism around us. We are grateful to the creators for allowing us to do it and we are proud to present its university premiere. It is a rare opportunity for our student performers, musicians, designers, and technicians to work on such a challenging, vibrant, and original musical—and one about which they have no preconceived notions. It’s been like bracing fresh air for us.”

Performances take place in Montclair State University's Memorial Auditorium on October 17, 18, 23 and 25 at 7:30p.m.; October 19 at 8:00p.m.; and October 20, 26 and 27 at 2:00p.m.

All seats are $15, and can be reserved online at, by phone at 973-655-5112, or in person at the Alexander Kasser Theater box office. MSU Undergraduate students receive one ticket at no charge through the Performing Arts Fee. Tickets may be reserved in person at the Alexander Kasser Theatre box office, with your valid student ID.