The Foy Team
Throughout his lifetime, Peter Foy applied his artistic vision and mechanical ingenuity to the challenge of safely flying performers in a variety of different and often difficult circumstances. His creation of the Inter-Related Pendulum helped define Mary Martin’s barnstorming performance as Peter Pan for the 1954 Broadway musical and ushered in a new era of spectacular, highly-controlled, natural-looking free flight.
In the years that followed, Foy introduced a series of wholly new flying systems, each created to remedy a problem or redefine a flying aesthetic. He created the Floating Pulley system in 1958 as a means of flying actors in low-height venues. His determination to preserve the magic of theatrical flight by concealing its mechanism from the audience’s view led to his introduction of the Track-On-Track system, an ingenious arrangement allowing independent control of lift and travel, in 1962.
2012 Artist Hall of Fame
The College of Fine Arts The College of Fine Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas has become the leader in preparing students for careers in the arts. Our students have gone on to be award-winning producers and directors; they have danced on Broadway and on the stages of some of the most extraordinary shows in the world; and they have designed award-winning resorts, golf courses and gaming properties. Their success can be attributed to their talent, excellent faculty and first-hand experience they receive studying in a city like Las Vegas. However, many of these students have been inspired by, and learn much from, generous Nevada artists who give so much of their time. Persons such as Tony Curtis, Phyllis McGuire, Vince Falcone, Matt Damon, Anthony Zuiker, and other individuals have taken time out of their demanding schedules to teach UNLV students. It is only fitting that the College of Fine Arts has established the Nevada Entertainer/Artist Hall of Fame to honor those people who contribute so much to Nevada and Las Vegas.
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Joe McGeough is Director of Operations for Foy Inventerprises, Inc., based in Las Vegas. His association with Flying by Foy spans more than three decades, beginning with his work as a systems operator for the flying ballet on Ice Capades.
Over the years, Joe worked closely with the late Peter Foy and his son, Garry, on the development of new flying systems for productions worldwide.
He has collaborated on hundreds of productions for Foy, including shows on Broadway (American Idiot, The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Tarzan the Musical), concert tours (The Backstreet Boys’ Into the Millennium World Tour), television (The Drew Carey Show, The Grammy Awards, The American Music Awards), international productions (Wicked in Tokyo), seasonal shows (The flying angels at The Crystal Cathedral and Phoenix First Assembly of God, The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, The Shoji Tabuchi Show in Branson, MO), theme parks (Finding Nemo at Disney’s Animal Kingdom), industrials (The Microsoft Global Summit), special events (Olympic Torch Relay in Times Square, Super Bowl XLV Halftime Show) and more than a dozen Royal Caribbean cruise ships.
Tim Mackay is the Managing Flying Director of Foy Inventerprises’ eastern office near Philadelphia, PA.
While receiving his B.A. in Theatre from Temple University, he interned with Foy’s London office during a semester abroad before joining Flying by Foy’s eastern U.S. wing in 2001.
As a Flying Director, Tim has designed and supervised aerial effects for a wide range of productions.
Tim has supervised the flying for Broadway’s Billy Elliot (and for subsequent productions in Chicago, Seoul, Toronto, and the show’s National Tours); Amazing Grace; Cabaret; Cats; Chaplin; Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella; The Crucible; Equus; Fiddler on the Roof; Ghost the Musical; Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Honeymoon in Vegas; The Lieutenant of Inishmore; The People in the Picture; The Threepenny Opera; and Will Ferrell’s You're Welcome America – A Final Night with George W. Bush.
His television credits include segments on The Tony Awards, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon, and Seth Meyers; The Colbert Report; Impractical Jokers; Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock.
Jamie Leonard is a senior Flying Director for Flying by Foy, based in New York.
Peter Foy discovered Jamie at the Empire State Youth Theatre Institute in Albany. The 17 year-old was offered an apprenticeship by Mr. Foy based, in part, on his creation of a “flying pumpkin coach” for the Institute’s production of Cinderella.
Jamie relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada, worked in the Foy shop as a fabricator, and assisted Mr. Foy on various productions for six years. He returned to New York as a Foy Flying Director in 1982, staging flying effects for a variety of theatrical productions throughout the eastern United States.
Over the past 30 years, he has created Aereography® for dozens of Broadway shows, (Seussical, Dracula the Musical, Sinatra, Tarzan, Mary Poppins), television productions (Saturday Night Live, The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, The MTV Movie Awards) feature films (College Road Trip) and special events (The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, A Christmas Carol).
Dave Hearn is a senior Flying Director for Flying by Foy, based in Pennsylvania.
He has supervised Foy flying for 23 productions of The Lion King worldwide (Broadway, Tokyo, Osaka, London, Toronto, Los Angeles, Hamburg, Fukuoka, Gazelle (U.S.) Tour, Sydney, Cheetah (U.S.) Tour, Nagoya, the Netherlands, Melbourne, Seoul, Paris, Johannesburg, Shanghai, Taipei, Las Vegas, Singapore, Sapporo and the upcoming U.K. Tour).
During nearly three decades with Foy, Dave has created flying for Broadway (Angels in America, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Who’s Tommy, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, In My Life), television productions (Saturday Night Live, The David Letterman Show, Late Night with David Letterman, Big Brother Jake), feature films (Death To Smoochy, A Dirty Shame) and hundreds of regional productions.
Brad Allen attended the University of Utah (Major in Technical Theatre) and Southern Utah University (Major in Technical Theatre, Minor in Design Engineering). He joined Flying by Foy in 1995.
In addition to serving as Flying Director for hundreds of regional musical productions, stage plays and industrial shows throughout the United States, he has also supervised the flying effects for many Japanese shows and touring productions (Peter Pan, Oguri [Super Kabuki], Saiyuki [Monkey Magic], Yuta and Wonderful Friends and Once Upon a Mouse for Tokyo Disneyland); feature films (Beverly Hills Ninja) and televised events (The 74th and 82nd Annual Academy Awards, MTV Movie Awards, ESPY Awards, Comedy Central Roasts Pamela Anderson, Billboard Music Awards).
Harold Christensen did his first Peter Pan with Foy as a volunteer at the Historic Landers Theatre in Springfield, MO, when he was just 16 years old! He received a B.F.A. degree in Technical and Performance Theatre from Southwest Missouri State University, and worked at the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre in Branson before joining Flying by Foy in 1999.
Harry created aerial swimming sequences for Elton John and Time Rice’s Aida on Broadway and for three international productions (Germany, Japan and the Netherlands). He has applied his considerable skills as a Flying Director to everything from children’s shows (The Wiggles Concert Tour, Puck’s Potion) to ballet companies (Ballet Austin, Birmingham Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Eugene Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Toledo Ballet and Washington Ballet).
Johnny O. Pickett
Johnny O. Pickett was born in the small Appalachian town of Etowah, Tennessee.
He received a B.A. in Theatre from East Tennessee State University and an M.F.A. in Design/Technology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He taught theatre at North Carolina A.T. State University, the University of Montevallo in Alabama, and worked in professional theaters throughout the United States (including three years for Siegfried and Roy at the Mirage) before joining Flying by Foy in 1999.
Johnny O has created flying effects for Monty Python’s SPAMALOT on Broadway; Wicked in Tokyo; Babes in Toyland and Sha-Kon-O-Hey! for Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. His television credits include The Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav, World Stunt Awards, Dancing with the Stars and Breaking the Magician’s Code – Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed.
Jason Wilson was born on the Fourth of July and loves to spend his leisure time outdoors with his golden retriever. He joined the Flying by Foy team in August, 1999, and once described the best part of his job as “being a part of their community, especially smaller shows: high school, community theatres. I enjoy working with non-professional groups.”
Notwithstanding, he has flown three of the entertainment industry’s biggest divas: Mariah Carey (Charmbracelet World Tour), Celiné Dion (Celiné Dion - A New Day), and Cher (Living Proof: The Farewell Tour).
His most challenging work has taken him halfway around the world to supervise some of Foy’s biggest fully-automated equipment installations and most demanding rehearsal processes aboard the world’s largest passenger ships for Royal Caribbean International.
RJ Scala received his Bachelor of Arts degree from DeSales University.
His background in technical theatre includes extensive work in theatrical rigging for Royal Caribbean International and Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia.
He joined Flying by Foy in July, 2006.
RJ has created flying effects for scores of regional, school, college theatre and industrial shows, television (Saturday Night Live) and feature films (College Road Trip).
Amir Tawfik was a Master Electrician for The Carolina Theatre at Durham before first experiencing Foy flying at Duke University Theatre during rehearsals for Martha Clarke’s The Garden of Earthly Delights. He apprenticed as a flying effects operator during the show’s run at the American Dance Festival and officially joined the Flying by Foy team in 2007.
He has created flying for Saturday Night Live, The Onion Review Online, The Colbert Report (Stephen Colbert’s “Highlander” parody for the hilarious “Stephen Claims Lou Dobbs’ Audience” episode), as well as school productions, community and regional theatres throughout the Eastern and Midwestern United States.
Matt Bevacqua joined the Foy team in 1999.
He currently heads Flying by Foy's design and development section as Lead Technical Designer.
Craven Baker is an Assistant Technical Designer for Flying by Foy's design and development secton. He joined the Foy team in 2007.
Roger Wilson joined Flying by Foy in 1999, succeeding Clark J. McKinlay as Foy's Harness Master.
David Shamberger holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Theatre from Northwest Missouri State University.
He has played a range of behind-the-scenes roles, from stage management to scenic and lighting design for production facilities in the Midwestern U.S., including Ballet Oklahoma, the Lyric Theatre, Oklahoma City University and Theatre for Young America. He served as a Prop Master and co-Production Manager for the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre in Branson before moving to Las Vegas.
David joined Flying by Foy in 2000, managing the company’s stock of flying equipment by day and working as a stagehand at the MGM Grand’s Hollywood Theatre at night. He became Foy’s senior Office Administrator in 2006.
Originally from California, John Raczkowski moved to Las Vegas after graduating from college in 1989. He eventually went to work for a well-known family of Las Vegas entrepreneurs, arranging funding for the creation of the UFC, the world’s largest mixed martial arts promotion company. John also served as controller on the feature films Standing Still (2005) with Mena Suvari, Amy Adams and James Van Der Beek; and Bachelor Party Vegas (2006) with Kal Penn.
He joined the Flying by Foy team as controller in 2007.