My name is Donald Rupe. I'm an Orlando-based Theatre director and writer and I received some great news recently that I'm going to need some help with. I've tried to organize this so that you can get as little or as much information as you would like while I'm on my journey to raise funds to Bring 'Flying Lessons' to New York City!
I wrote an original musical called 'Flying Lessons' with my friend Cesar de la Rosa. The show premiered in front of all of the eighth grade students in Osceola County, Florida, thanks to a grant from United Arts of Central Florida, Dr. Phillips Charities, and Tupperware. I was born in Osceola County, was a student there, and then taught Theatre there for 8 years in one of the high schools.
This year, I submitted 'Flying Lessons' for consideration by the New York Musical Festival (NYMF) in New York City. NYMF is a respected festival in New York City for new musicals. Alumni of this festival have won Tony and Drama Desk Awards and even a Pulitzer Prize for drama. Between 100-150 applicants from around the world submit each year and are reviewed by an impressive selection committee. This year, Flying Lessons was one of only twelve productions to be chosen and will perform in New York City July 22-28!
Attending the festival and producing at NYMF is expensive, so I need help. I'll basically be producing my show in New York City, paying actors, designers, a director, publicity folk, while also paying for sets/costumes/props/marketing/etc.
Why is this important to me? In short, creating Theatre is my life's purpose, and the validation that comes with this festival is something I wasn't sure I'd get to experience in my life. While there are no guarantees as to outcomes as a result of this festival, this is a chance to produce a show that I've written in the greatest theatrical city in the world. Industry professionals and publishers are invited to attend the festival, and this festival could be my next step to getting published and to finding a career for myself as a writer for the Theatre.
Flying Lessons Synopsis/Creative Team Book by Donald Rupe Music by Donald Rupe and Cesar de la Rosa Orchestrations by Cesar de la Rosa, Josh Ceballos, and Jason Bailey Isabella, a young Latina whose single-mother does the best she can to support her growing daughter. Isabella and her quirky friends are given their final history project: choose a historical figure and write a paper about what made them great. Unable to decide who to study, Isabella is approached by two unlikely people: Amelia Earhart and Frederick Douglass. Over time, Isabella writes her own 'recipe for greatness' as she learns as much about herself as she does about history.
Thank You Thank you to those of you who have already pledged to support me in this endeavor (Dr. Mary Palmer, Dr. Kay Allen, Pam Haas, Debbie Fahmie, Jim and Barbara Caldwell, Ryan and James Frazier, Larry Watchorn and Florida Theatrical Association). And thank you to Joshua Vickery and Central Florida Community Arts for supporting me in this venture that is outside of my normal job and in addition to our regular fundraising efforts---your support means the world to me.