“Flyin’ West” opens Thursday night at Trojan Center Theater

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Troy University Department of Theater and Dance will present its first show of the semester, “Flyin’ West” Thursday through Saturday at the Trojan Center Theater on the campus of Troy University. Showtime is 7 p.m.

“Flyin’ West” is directed by Troy University Associate Professor of Theater Quinton Cockrell.

“Flyin’ West” is set in 1898 Kansas and tells the inspirational story of four African-American women who migrate westward to become landowning farmers.

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“When stories are set in the late 1800s, our minds usually go to slavery storylines,” said Tori Lee Averett, chair of the university’s Department of Theater and Dance. “The Civil War shook everything up, especially in the South.

“We know a lot about the Civil War and about Civil Rights but we don’t know a lot about the time in between when African Americans were trying to figure out what to do with their newfound freedom and what to do with their lives.”

“Flyin’ West” is set in post Civil War America when the system had changed, when the way of life had changed.

“Black Americans were displaced from the life they were accustomed to, for better or for worse,” Averett said. “They were faced with where to go and what to do to establish a new way of life. Most importantly, they had to decide what was most important in their new lives. These four African American women were faced with that decision. ‘Flyin’ West’ is their story.”

Averett said what is most wonderful about “Flyin’ West” is that the story applies to our world today just as it did to the world and times of those African American women in 1898.

“It all boils down to what is most important in a person’s life,” she said. “Is family most important or community or money, fame or status in life?

“The African American women in ‘Flyin’ West’ are faced with deciding what is now most important in their lives and then living their lives on that.  A hundred and more years later, we all must decide what is most important in our lives and decide how to live our lives based on that.”

Averett said “Flyin’ West” captivates audiences with a compelling story and unforgettable characters.

“We invite the community to come, Fly West with us,” she said.

General admission tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Trojan Center Box Office next to Barnes and Noble or on line at www.troytheatre.org. Tickets will also be available at the door.