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What Goes Up – Frisbee Freestyle Musical

“What Goes Up” was inspired by a 1977 Globe and Mail article by Paul McGrath entitled “The Frisbee and the Soul” and by a 1985 photo in the Globe captioned “A Man and His Shadow” also featuring a man with a frisbee. “What Goes Up” is a journey to the corporate Toronto of 1980 as three young disc heads fight to go pro.

A New Canadian musical by Colleen Dauncey (music), Akiva Romer-Segal (lyrics) and Ellen Denny (book).

Starring: Brandon Antonio, Michael De Rose, Kaylee Harwood & Kelsey Verzotti.

“On a nice day in Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park, it’s easy to find folks tossing a disc. Without realizing, you may even be watching national and world champions in the little known sport of flying disc freestyle: a dance-meets-acrobatics frisbee fantasia played to music. Thanks to vibrant archival photos of Toronto Island and Paul McGrath’s article ‘The Frisbee and the Soul’, we were introduced to the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, held on the Island from 1975-85. In its prime, companies like Labatt, Air Canada and Orange Crush took notice of the youth disc craze and began to sponsor tournaments, as well as frisbee teams who would tour shows across the country. For up-and-coming freestyle stars, a dream was emerging – to turn their passion for disc into a professional career… All of this was set against the new era of electronic music and corporate greed in 1980s Toronto. On behalf of the writing team, we would like to thank the many members of the international ‘jamily’ (freestyle frisbee community) who shared their stories with us for this project. Spread the jam!
— Ellen Denny, Akiva Romer-Segal, and Colleen Dauncey

Additional Credits
Director: Lezlie Wade
Music Director & Supervisor: Shelley Hanson
Program Directors: Robert McQueen & Lynne Shankel
Accompanist/Copyist: Jonathan Corkal
Stage Manager: Dustyn Wales
Apprentice Stage Manager: Hannah MacMillan
Production Manager Andrei Mazuruc
Production Designer: Brandon Kleiman
Costumes Provided by: Alex Amini
Audio Recording & Mix: Earl McCluskie, Chestnut Hall Music

About Reprint Rewind

Prompted by major breaking news and surprising niche headlines, Canada’s most exciting musical minds have created an imaginative triptych of short original musicals inspired by the archives at The Globe and Mail. REPRINT is the inaugural production of Launch Pad, a ground-breaking musical development residency from The Musical Stage Company and Yonge Street Theatricals.  This innovative program offers a 10-month residency in which musical theatre creators and artistic teams navigate a full developmental process, shepherding 30-minute musicals from conception to production, with guidance from internationally renowned mentors. 

These three original musicals were prompted by major breaking news and surprising niche headlines, inspired by the archives at The Globe and Mail. Following the 10-month development process, these new works premiered August 2019 on the 17th Floor of The Globe and Mail building.