The Awkward Art of Flying Lands at Fresno’s Rogue Festival 2014

Feb 19, 2014 | 2014 Articles, Arts & Entertainment

by Claire Patton

Between now and Rogue Festival 2014 we will be featuring several of the performers who will be at this year’s festival, so keep watching for more! Also, we will have a preview of the Festival itself. And if that wasn’t enough, we will have show reviews and video interviews during this year’s Rogue Festival. So keep an eye on our Arts & Entertainment section to catch them all! Also check out our Rogue Performer Event page for fliers and press releases for more of the performers!

We created The Awkward Art of Flying in a month and a half of whirlwind rehearsals. The whole thing began innocently enough. I sent my colleague, Lucia Rich, an email in a fit of enthusiasm, suggesting we collaborate on a project together. We’ve been friends and colleagues for years. We share the same physical theater training and love of quirky theatre. We’d collaborated on projects together–numerous examples of other people’s visions. This would be different, I assured her; this project would be ours!

Fast forward two weeks and we’re sitting in a coffee shop in Boulder, Colorado. Lucia is staring at me intently across the table declaring that she’d, “like us to be birds flying through the air. Or fish maybe. But definitely birds.” We discussed what themes, images, and theatrical styles were interesting us at the time. The list was long, but the rehearsal period was not.

Lucia Rich (left) and Claire Patton (right)

We believed that if we just got in the studio together something would happen. Boy, did it! We generated a great deal of material for the first couple of weeks through improvisation–we played tiny dinosaurs, plants, sad songbirds, wayward umbrellas, airplanes. It was exhilarating, but there was something missing. We needed a thread to link it all together. We wanted it to be honest, funny, and frankly, a little awkward.

Then the cavewomen arrived.

These characters gave us a naiveté – a perspective from which to understand the experience of being a woman. Suddenly we were feminine anthropologists. Other historical figures began to appear. Something clicked and poetic urgency took over. We were tracing something back to its origin, tracing our own personal histories too. The cavewomen had a desire to fl and that’s what started it all, really–characters taking risks, getting lost, losing their nerve and then finding it again.

What resulted is a playful physical comedy about risk and fear and femininity. The Awkward Art of Flying is a series of absurd, vaudevillian, surprisingly human vignettes. Throughout the piece we shift perspectives and traverse genres, playing cavewomen, maple seeds, debutante chickens, historical heroines, trees and even articles of clothing. The Awkward Art of Flying is the messy mythology of who we were, who we are and who we’d like to become.

The Awkward Art of Flying premiered in Boulder, Colorado in May of 2013. The piece is currently on tour and will be playing Fresno’s Rogue Festival in 2014.

The Awkward Art of Flying: A Physical Comedy with Claire Patton and Lucia Rich
Presented by Quake Theater as part of the Fresno Rogue Festival
Strummer’s (formerly Starline), 833 E Fern Ave, Fresno, CA, 93728
2/28/14 6:30 p.m.
3/1/14 2:00 p.m.
3/1/14 9:30 p.m.
3/7/14 8:00 p.m.
3/8/14 12:30 p.m.

Tickets: $10 in Rogue Bucks.
Purchase tickets in advance at Tower Theater Box Office:
815 E Olive Ave, Fresno, CA 93728

For more information, please visit or



  1. Rogue Reviews 2014 | Kings River Life Magazine - [...] one point during The Awkward Art of Flying, when both performers are beplumed and beribboned, groomed to become “ladies”…

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