ORIGINAL CAST ALBUM
ALL THE SONGS - THE ENTIRE STORY
Follow young Wilbur and Orville as they develop a joy for reading and discovery. Later, their mechanical skills are sharpened as owners of a bike shop in Dayton, Ohio. Finally, they master power, lift, and control to conquer flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
In the tradition of old-time radio, the story is told through eight original musical numbers, humorous sound effects, and many memorable characters. The show is entertaining and educational. It has been kid-tested through performances in front of young audiences and expert-tested in front of curators of aviation museums from around the world.
The show was developed with the Virginia Aviation Museum in Richmond, Virginia. Rainbow worked closely with the staff to ensure the program is technically and historically correct. The show has been presented at Wolftrap as part of the "Faces of America" series. In addition, it's been presented for aviation directors from around the world and in a special performance just blocks from where the Wright's made their first flights.
"We will follow the brothers from early childhood until the moment they make their first powered flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina," said show creator David Messick.
"It's such a wonderful story with an important lesson even today. Orville and Wilbur were successful because they grew up in an environment that valued and encouraged reading and they had great faith in their own abilities."
"We tell this story with multiple puppet styles. The brothers are presented as human arm puppets but the backgrounds and settings are presented through the use of shadow puppetry. While this is a new style for Rainbow, shadow puppetry is the earliest form of puppetry known."
Mike Bohme of the Virginia Aviation Museum provided technical assistance and worked to ensure the accuracy of the production. The program worked to be correct down to the books found in the boys' library as they were growing up.
Wilbur and Orville adult puppets were created by Newport News artist Laura Huff. She previously created giant dinosaurs for Rainbow's "Really Big Dinosaur Show." Jill Harrington, of Prince Puppets created all additional puppets. The sets are by Jason Wiedel, co-founder of the Virginia Festival of Puppet Ministry and Creative Arts. Shadow puppets are by Peninsula artist Joyce Timberlake. The music was arranged and recorded by Steve Scheffler
Vocal performances are provided by Steve Scheffler as Wilbur and Jim Stensvaag as Orville. Chris and Don Bartlett provide the voices for their mother and father. Tim Tharrington is the Mayor, Kathie Davis is the School Teacher, and David Messick is Gramps. Jason Wiedel narrates the story Rich Ryan is the train conductor and Lisa Ryan provides additional singing to the program.
The program was produced in association with Young Audiences of Virginia. Visit the Rainbow website at www.rainbowpuppets.com to learn how to bring "The Wright Brothers" to you school, library, museum, or theater.
About the writer / composer:
David is the founder of Rainbow Productions, Inc. He created the company's very first production, "Jack and the Beanstalk," in 1977. The show was part of the Charles Taylor Library summer reading program. Since that time, he has created or directed many other programs for the company including "The Really Big Dinosaur Show," and "Babes in Toyland" featuring a cast of over 100, making it one of the largest touring shows created in the state.
His original musical, "The Amazing Adventures of Chessie the Manatee" was the first collaboration between Rainbow, the Virginia Marine Science Museum, and Young Audiences of Virginia. The show has been the company's most requested program to date. It was featured at the state's annual PTA convention the year it premiered.
David was chosen to work at the International Festival of Theater for Young Audiences at the New Orleans World's Fair. There he assisted in Jim Henson's presentation of rare Italian puppets.
David has created character voices for Chuck E. Cheese television commercials. He has worked on development projects for the Disney Channel, Paramount Pictures, and other television producers.
A sought after teacher of performing skills, he was chosen to present at the 2001 Puppeteers of America festival in Tampa. His workshop, "Entertain First" explains his successful marriage of arts and science in the creation of touring puppetry program. His original musical, "Noah's Floating Zoo" was selected as a principal performance at the 2001 FCP National Puppetry Convention.
His most recent productions are "Jonah" which takes the entire audience into the belly of the whale and the Wright Brothers which covers the two from childhood to the first powered flight in 1903.
Your purchase of this CD helps support the non-profit educational activities of Rainbow Productions, Inc.