Many viewers following the trials and triumphs of American figure skaters at the Beijing Olympics may be unaware of one of the worst disasters in the annals of sport – the tragic airplane crash in 1961 that took the lives of the entire United States Figure Skating Team as they were en route to the World Championships. Lance Ringel’s new play, Flash/Frozen, zeroes in on one of the most painful ironies of that terrible event: the decision of one veteran skater to relinquish his place on the team, and his seat on the plane, to the sport’s brightest young talent.
Opening with the Inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, and telescoping the action in less than a month’s time, the play brings both skaters to life in a crescendo of events culminating in a cruel, unforeseen twist that will assure their destinies are forever intertwined in history.
"Flash/Frozen gives me a concise and well-thought-out road map for guiding the actors to their rich and varied portrayals of these characters, on their brief but unexpectedly harrowing journey together,” says director Chuck Muckle. “For the play’s world stage premiere, we are deliberately keeping the staging simple, allowing this compelling story to be told through the characters’ words and actions, supplemented by a few key projections.”
Playwright Lance Ringel writes, “The doomed flight of Sabena 548 had long haunted my imagination. Flash/Frozen has been my path to writing about it, as I seek to honor both Tim Brown and Doug Ramsay through their interlocking stories.”
Flash/Frozen recently completed a two-week run at New York's Theatre Row, featuring Clint Hromsco (Tim Brown), Riley Fisher (Doug Ramsay), and Anne Liske (Narrator, Additional Voices).
The U.S. Figure Skating Memorial Fund was created in the wake of the tragedy of February 15, 1961, as a living endowment to benefit future skaters. Over the past 60 years, the Fund has provided more than $15 million in financial assistance, supporting a number of Olympic champions.
Like his previous works, Flower of Iowa and In Love with the Arrow Collar Man, Lance Ringel’s new play, Flash/Frozen, reveals the achingly personal side of historical events. Engaging and ultimately deeply moving, this story of young athletes following their passion is a remarkable exploration into the unpredictability of our journey through life.
Mark Pirolo, Faculty Emeritus, University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Riley Fisher does an excellent job. His performance is bursting with energy. Clint Hromsco as Tim Brown really makes you feel the anguish of being caught between the relief at being alive and feelings of guilt at another skater having died in his place. The exciting choreography really makes you feel like they are skating even though there obviously isn't any real skating in the show. At just about an hour long, the play goes by very quickly and is over way too soon.
Jeryl M. Says Me Says Mom Reviews
5 Stars! Clever, absorbing, relevant, intelligent, and great writing. See it if you want to enjoy a two-hander, true story of a 4-week time period, beautifully told with good acting, solid sound, lights, and projections.