Q&A with Andi Lee Carter of OPPY Theatre Project
Co-Creator/Playwright & Co-Producer
Following the recent exciting and successful landing of the newest exploration rover, Perseverance on Mars last month, musical theatre collaborators Andi Lee Carter (playwright) and Henco Espag (composer) have created the musical play, “OPPY: A Mars Rover Story” based on the life and times of the beloved rover, Opportunity, who touched hearts around the world in 2019 with her final moments of life on Mars.
In the play, OPPY lands on Mars with the directive to find signs of water, but this little rover has a secret mission: to find her twin sister Spirit who has touched down on the other side of the fourth rock from the sun. Through incidental music, poetry, dance, and visual design we follow OPPY’s journey for meaning in her lonely Martian mission as she wanders the dusty red planet for nearly fifteen years in search of her star-crossed sister. And as she develops her understanding of herself, we witness her finding answers to questions about gender, humanity, and the mythology of the stars.
The audience will join NASA in this pandemic friendly, 25-minute, play with music and we will ask them to facilitate OPPY’s expedition to Mars and beyond.
The 25-minute play featuring DeShawn Jenkins as OPPY and Parker Wallis as the voice of NASA is directed by Mika Kauffman and stage managed by Enzo Veiga will be presented twice each night at 7pm and 8pm on March 17, 19, 20, and 21 in front of a small live and socially distanced audience. The 8pm performances will also be livestreamed for at home audiences. http://oppymarsrovershow.com/
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Why live theatre? Why now?
Live theatre in NYC is literally a multi-billion-dollar piece of the NYC economy. It is part of our identity and why we are a beacon. COVID reopenings are an opportunity for new live theatre to find opportunities while the big theatres are still limited and it's this sort of experimentation that has always made our theatre here in NYC so dynamic.
How have COVID restrictions shaped the show?
Wow - in some ways it's built into the show - OPPY is 134 million miles separated from humanity, sent to find life. And this is how OPPY came to be for us, all in our separate boxes finding new and, I hope, exciting ways to be human ourselves. But also, it's a one person show, with limited audience, no singing and all of these are challenges, but each challenge is an opportunity - just like our spunky rover, Opportunity.
Why do we need your help?
We are providing working opportunities for theatre professionals in a time when there is barely any work available in the theatre industry. To produce a show is no easy task and cost a lot of money. It is of utmost importance to us to compensate our artists fairly and to provide them with a safe environment to bring their expertise to the table. With that said, we need your help by either donating to our operating fund or purchasing tickets to in-person or live streaming performance (March 17th, 19th, 20th and 21st).
Andi Lee Carter of OPPY Theatre Project
Andi Lee Carter (he/they) is a Brooklyn-based musical theatre writer, director, and webseries/podcast producer. He is a recent graduate from the NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program where he presented his thesis musicals: Pompeii: A Gender Explosion! and S.T.E.M. GRLZ! Scientific Strategies for Starting a Feminist Rock Band. His first original full-length musical Rent A White Guy was dubbed “often very funny” by The New York Times. His work has been seen at many of New York’s finest pre-COVID cabaret venues including Under St. Marks, the Duplex, Joe’s Pub, and Feinstein’s 54 Below. His most recent virtual musicals can be found online: 14 DAYS (music/lyrics) at apac.org and Rejected! (music and lyrics) at nypl.org. He has also been collaborating with Henco on an exciting new ASL musical short film to be released through Heart Productions. Stay tuned! Contact Henco: