'Up' Debuts at Pier One

     The play “Up” opened at Pier One Theatre in Homer Friday night. It tells the real-life story of a man who dreamed one day of flying and saw it through to its conclusion, for better or for worse. 

     Peter Norton plays the role of Walter Griffin in Bridget Carpenter’s 2002 play, which tells a fictionalized version of the story of amateur aviation enthusiast Larry Walters who in 1982, took to the skies in a decidedly less than orthodox fashion. By attaching a bunch of weather balloons to a lawn chair, Walters ascended to over 15,000 feet. 

     Lance Petersen is the play’s director and Pier One’s long-time artistic director. He says he first heard about Walters’ story from his involvement with another play he directed many years ago.

     "The complex part of the play is that ... dreaming about things doesn't always lead to succeeding," says Peterson.

     That theme  is indeed a constant thread throughout “Up. ” Petersen says the story doesn’t chronicle the actual events of Walters’ famous flight, but is instead the story of him and his family 16 years after his bout with fame.

     Among the other players is Walter’s wife Helen played by Kristy Russ, who would prefer her husband found an actual job rather than constantly attempting to live off the memory of his glory day.

     Also part of Helen and Walter’s family is their son Mikey, played by Matthew Meyer who during the story strikes up a friendship with his classmate Maria, played by Audrey Russell. Mikey then meets Maria’s aunt Chris, played by Hannah Heimbuch, who convinces him to work for her telemarketing service so he can help earn money for his struggling family. 

“Up” premiered Friday at 7:30pm and runs through this weekend from June 6th through the 9th.