Curbside takes 'Flight' to The Fringe

Local theatre company taking its original production to UK for global festival

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Cynthia Price, Ezra LeBank and Taylor Casas in Flight

Albert Soratorio

The mixed and fluid movements of the individuals at Curbside, a physical theatre company, are making their way toward the United Kingdom with an original production known as Flight.

Curbside is based in Long Beach, and its performers will travel to the UK to take part in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (The Fringe) and perform Flight, a story written by Ezra LeBank, a professor of movement at California State University Long Beach (CSULB), and directed by Olivia Treviño.

The show will premiere in Scotland on Aug. 6, with more performances through Aug. 31.

LeBank is leading the crew of Curbside, which isn’t a stranger to the festival, to The Fringe, as it performed Extinguish in 2010, and received acclaim from Scottish arts magazine The List, citing the performance as “the next big thing!”

LeBank returns to the UK after recently releasing a new book in Routeledge, England known as Clowns.

Now, he will introduce another original story in the UK in the form of Flight, and will do so through a vivid, visual form of storytelling, he said. “Curbside’s physical approach to storytelling infuses life, momentum and magic with spoken word,” LeBank said. “By creating surreal imagery with our bodies, we take our audience on a journey that awakens their imaginations.”

Curbside is known to stretch the boundaries of theatre, taking theatrical pieces to fresh and unfamiliar physical places, according to members like Cynthia Price.

Price, a theatre major at CSULB, is part of Curbside and its Flight production, and she said that “this opportunity could not have come at a better time in my life” travelling with the crew over to the UK.

“I can’t wait to be surrounded by all the creativity and inspiration that the festival has to offer,” she said. “I believe our show is one that will stay in our audience’s hearts for some time. I’m extremely proud of the love and thought that went into the production of Flight.”

Price mentioned how the show only just finished a few months be- fore the upcoming tour in August and that the majority of the show’s practices stemmed from a “tiny garage.”

LeBank’s “garage-turned-movement-studio” had a “unconventional and open nature,” and it provided a good setting for his movement modalities, he said.

“Flight has been years in the making and is a very special project,” LeBank said. “Seeing it come to life in such an extraordinary production is one of the great joys of creating physical theatre.”

Flight draws inspiration from the classic children’s story “The Little Prince,” as a “pilot crashes on the Mexican coast while he’s search- ing for his lost friend, The Little Prince. Memories of twinkling stars transform into sand dunes, crashing waves and far-off islands as he remembers that what is most important can only be seen with the heart,” reads a statement from Curbside.

The company has developed the show for over two years, and it has been rehearsing since March, with the project being funded through grants and individual contributions to raise over $16,000.

The show will debut in Long Beach in the fall.

“It’s an honor to premiere Flight at the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe,” LeBank said. “The 2015 festival will be the largest arts festival in world history, and performing at such a prestigious event alongside my students from California State University Long Beach, with designs and direction from recent alumni from the Theatre Arts Department, brings the whole experience full circle.” ✦

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