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Friday, Apr 13, 2018 at 10:50 am

Live at 6 | SU Drama Play At Syracuse Stage To Go To NYC

By Anna Azallion – Syracuse, N.Y. (CitrusTV) – A girl loses her mom to cancer, a bird falls out of its nest, and two protagonists overcome challenges side-by-side. That’s the plot of a brand new musical that’s finishing it’s debut at Syracuse Stage this weekend.

Jeff Whiting says the show is in the early stages of development with the ultimate goal being a run on Broadway.

“It’s been so valuable to have this opportunity of development so our next steps will be to go back and do some more rewrites, we’ll probably learn more about it this weekend as we watch the audience,” Whiting said.

Syracuse University drama students had the opportunity during the first two weekends in April to be in the cast and crew of Fly More Than You Fall, the brand new musical.

The musical merges fantasy and reality as Malia, the protagonist, and the character she creates, overcome their own challenges side-by-side.

This story came from the minds of two men who have a personal connection to the story, having both lost a parent.

“We wanted to be able to tell a story that kind of artistically shows what the grieving process is like for not only adults but most importantly for children,” said Nat Zegree, the composer of the musical.

Zegree and Eric Holmes, the writer of the musical, met at Indiana University when Zegree played the lead in a musical Holmes had written.

“It was when I met Eric that we kind of found this chemistry between us and said I think we can really create awesome stories together,” Zegree said.

The workshop shows this weekend are one step in the development of this musical. They give Whiting and Zegree, who are both in Syracuse for these shows, the opportunity to see the musical in action and make changes.

They make changes based off of two things: aspects of the show Whiting and Zegree notice aren’t working, and audience reaction.

“I watch their body language a lot. When they get lost, when they’re making contact with their face meaning they’re probably bored in some way,” Whiting said.

After observing these reactions, Whiting, Zegree and Holmes revise the musical.

The workshop shows of Fly More Than You Fall at Syracuse Stage ran for two weekends, opening last weekend and closing this weekend. During the week in between, Zegree and Whiting revised the show, adding three new songs.

The next steps will take place in New York City. Holmes, Whiting and Zegree all live in New York City and will continue to revise and perfect the show there. After that, there will be a reading and more workshop shows.

Whiting says the next round of workshop shows will be with New York actors and will have Broadway producers and investors in the audience.

After all of this, when will the show reach the Broadway stage?

“That’s the ultimate question,” Whiting said. “How long does the show take?”

Whiting said it depends on the show, as some shows he’s worked on have taken 9 years. Fly More Than You Fall has been in development for 2 years and is unique.

“You never know exactly when it’s gonna hit, but I have a good feeling about this one — It’s gonna go pretty fast,” Whiting said.