'Mary Poppins'

"Mary Poppins” continues through Saturday, July 6, at The Prizery. Call 434-572-8339 for tickets or order online at prizery.com.

Way back in the 1990’s, I had the pleasure of meeting Delbert Hall who owned a rigging company that Halifax County Little Theatre hired to fly Peter Pan. In that production, the flying was a bit more involved, because we were flying four performers instead of one performer, Mary Poppins.

Some productions of Mary Poppins choose to fly Bert as well. Because of the additional costs involved, we decided to simply fly Mary.

The first part of the process is to send the rigging company dimensions of the stage. Then the company designs the rigging system that is mounted over the stage. This allows the flight coordinator to choreograph the flights in the path set forth by the track system. Here is where Hall comes back into the picture. In the intervening years, Hall sold his company to Sam Fisher.

Fisher asked Delbert to do the installation of The Prizery’s system and to choreograph the flights.

It was great to see him again and to reminisce about flying Scotty Felton.

So now to explain about the current situation of flying Kelly Glyptis as Mary Poppins.

Flying someone takes lots of coordination. The flight must address all safety concerns at all times. Equipment is checked by stage management before each performance where flying is involved.

Spencer Sansom, a performer in the summer company from Pensacola, Florida, is part of the flight team.

“My job is to essentially make sure that Mary Poppins flies as smoothly and as magically as possible. Miss Glyptis is connected to a harness that is rigged to be flown off stage, which is connected to a pulley system that I partially control,” he said.

Sansom has other experiences as part of a fly team.

“I have had fly experience before. During high school we put up ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ and I was able to receive some training on fly systems there. Then, during my time at Daytona State I had the opportunity to work with Preston Foss on the fly system for our production of ‘Spring Awakening.’

“It’s extremely rewarding to be able to have such a hands on role during this show, and I am extremely happy to be a part of this show and this process,” he added.

“Mary Poppins” continues through Saturday, July 6.

Call 434-572-8339 for tickets or order online at prizery.com.