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Fly Me To The Moon


Dreams, sometimes, do come true
A 2019 Production inspired by the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing.

A play by Andrea Brunello
With Laura Anzani and Ettore Distasio
Directed by Fabrizio Visconti
Light design Fabrizio Visconti
Scenes Marco Muzzolon
Costumes Mirella Salvischiani
Scientific and historical consulting Stefano Oss - Dept. Of Physics, University of Trento (Italy), Vladimir Bozhilov - Dept. of Astronomy, Faculty of Physics, Sofia University, Bulgaria
Philosophical consulting Enrico Piergiacomi

In collaboration with the Physical Science Communication Laboratory of the Physics Department of the University of Trento (Italy).


Adam is an Apollo Mission Astronaut. A very good one. He has a dream: to reach the Moon. He is ready to sacrifice everything, wife, children, family, health, even his own life in order to get there.
Valentina is a woman, a mother of two children and the wife of Adam. She is strong, intelligent, determined and in many ways she has an “astronaut” soul, just as much as Adam.
Fly Me To The Moon is the story of their relationship told in the shadow of the mighty Saturn V missile and the Apollo Project. It’s the story of an unbalanced love between her and him and the Moon, an all absorbing dream that, for its very utopian nature, continuously risks to become the the cause of their destruction.

But Fly Me To The Moon is also about human ingenuity and the science that had to be developed in order to bring humans far away from the Earth. It’s about the Moon, our celestial companion, and its amazing characteristics. The play is a tribute to the fascination that we humans have felt for our nightly companion since the beginning of time and to our desire to learn, to be curious, to never stop exploring.



Target Audience and Language:

The play is for an audience 15 years old and up and is available in English and in Italian.



Writer’s notes:

On May 21st 1961 President Kennedy gave a speech in front of the US Congress: “…I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

On September 12 1961 he elaborated his reasons in front of a crowd at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas: “…But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? […] We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

On July 20th 1969 20:17 UTC (GMT), before the decade was out, the Lunar Module Eagle landed on the moon at Tranquillity Base.

“Houston. Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.
“Roger, Tranquillity. We copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot”.

Six hours later astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin stepped on the moon. “A small step for [a] man, a giant leap for mankind”. Kennedy’s wish had been fulfilled.

Ever since animals had some form of consciousness, for millions of years, they have been staring at the moon charmed by its unreachable beauty. Now the moon had been conquered, demonstrating how powerful and resourceful the genius of humans can be (so much that even now there are people who think that the moon landing was a hoax, but then again we must appreciate the fact that human intelligence is really a gift).

On July 20th 2019 50 years had passed since that historical moment and I have decided to celebrate the event by writing a play that could look into both the amazing achievements reached by NASA’s Apollo Missions and at the same time explore the motivations that animated the soul of those daredevils that stepped inside flimsy spacecrafts to chase a dream too big to be refused. These men risked it all to become what could have become modern day Icarus and only through sheer courage and good luck, achieving a milestone that forever, as long as human memory will survive, will be remembered. A thousand years from now humans will remember the lunar landing of July 20th 1969 as one of the most amazing of human achievements: the day two men stepped on another celestial body different from the Earth.

Yet, if truth must be told, the achievement of Aldrin and Armstrong is the result of a truly titanic effort. One that dwarfs even the Manhattan Project, the other amazing engineering achievement of the 20th century: more than 400.000 people had worked on NASA’s space program!

In this play I have “invented” one astronaut that never really existed: Adam. I have placed him in the fold of the Apollo project as if he were one of the others, because it did not seem right to single out one that actually existed. I wanted to make Adam a symbol of those that really existed: condensing their motivations, fears, personalities and fate. I did not want to neglect their wives either. Because they were just as heroic as their husbands. And their children too… even today they have strong mixed feelings about their fathers.

Fly Me To The Moon is the story of a dream. One of those dreams that dominates every fibre of the body and soul. One of those dreams that is life or death. And what happens when that dream is achieved… by others but not by you? How does it make you feel? If truth be told, I believe I can relate to that. I believe that in some way we all can relate to that because if we can’t, then we cannot call ourselves human.

This is what motivated me to write Fly Me To The Moon. Along the way I met Adam’s wife, Valentina. And I have discovered a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude towards her, because she also had a dream and she was able to sacrifice it to make room for his. For every great achiever there is a list of unsung heroes that made that achievement possible. I feel as much admiration for people like her as I do for the courageous astronauts that took humankind to another level. Fly Me To The Moon is a story that I needed to write. (Andrea Brunello)

References

The Right Stuff - Tom Wolfe
The Last Man On The Moon - Eugene Cernan
Carrying The Fire - Michael Collins
No Dream Is Too High - Buzz Aldrin
Deke! - Donald K. Slayton
Failure is not an option - Gene Kranz
How Apollo Flew to the Moon - W. David Woods
A man on the Moon - Andrew Chaikin
An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth - Chris Hadfield
Introduction to Space Dynamics - William Tyrrell Thomson

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