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Sonia as BessieI'm Gonna Fly

I'm Gonna Fly is based on the life of Bessie Coleman, America's first black aviatrix.

Bessie Coleman was born January 26, 1892, the twelfth of thirteen children. Her dream -to be a pilot.  Unfortunately, the social climate in the United States, at the time, forced her to look elsewhere for training. Europe welcomed her. Upon returning to the States, Bessie was determined to live her life as a flyer.  I'm Gonna Fly, a one-woman play, tells the story of Bessie's life and is about what made Bessie so extraordinary.  Her desire, her drive and her determination to live her dream.

I'm Gonna Fly captured three NAACP Nominations when it originally debuted in 1987.  They were Sonia Jackson, Best Actress; Bibi Besch. Best Director and Rolande Guizart, Best Set and Costume Design.

I'm Gonna Fly has been performed in a variety of venues from theatres to church basements to loft apartments including The Museum of Flying, The Inglewood Playhouse, and The Agape International Spiritual Center.  Staging, sound and lights are simple and require minimal advance preparation. The show is backdropped by a set that consists of parachutes and gives a feeling of being among the clouds.

In an effort to inform the world of people who have made a contribution to humanity, we invite you to consider offering I'm Gonna Fly in your school, organization or community.   For more information, go to our contact page.

What’s been said about I'm Gonna Fly

"Kudos to member Sonia Jackson whose performance as Bessie Coleman in the play, I'm Gonna Fly, was superb!  Bessie Coleman was America's first Black female aviatrix.  I was especially impressed with the manner in which Sonia handled the various stages of Bessie's life, easily transitioning from one to the other.  The audience was made to feel much  a part of what was happening through the emotions that were portrayed throughout the performance."

Carol Tucker - Inside BWN

"Sonia Jackson's one-woman performance is so committed (in a sweetly childlike, strong and inspirational way), the theme so undeniable (dare to live your dreams), and the audience so supportive (they gave a standing ovation) that only unredeemed curmudgeons would be totally unmoved.  This play must be taken as up-by-the-bootstraps folk drama; as such, it's a worthy show.  Jackson is extremely well  cast -- tall, thin, she exudes class and dignity."

Maryl Jo Fox - LA Weekly 

NAACP Nominations Honor Los Angeles' Black Theater Artists

"...Members of the NAACP's legitimate theatre committee have announced the nominees for the group's second annual Theatre Awards.  Chairwoman Patricia Bell explained, "We look for plays that deal significantly with Black issues or have significant Black roles."

Among the nominations:

I'm Gonna Fly
Best Actress - Sonia Jackson

Sylvie Drake - LA Times

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