Flying by Foy is perhaps best known as the company that flew Peter Pan and Mary Poppins on Broadway; the pre-eminent practitioner of a theatrical craft dating back to the ancient Greeks. Its founder, Peter Foy, was an innovative titan who transformed the techniques and equipment used to fly performers and made the use of flying effects a practical and affordable reality for regional productions in colleges, schools and community theatres throughout the United States and around the world.
All told, “Peter Pan” includes roughly 10 times as many technical components as “The Sound of Music,” estimated Derek McLane, the production designer. Prime among them are the elaborate rigs and harnesses that will fly the actors around the studio.
Gail Bennett has played Mary Poppins before, but for her reprisal of the role at the Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts, she had to learn completely new dance routines.
She also had to practice flying with the help of a sturdy rope and two strong men.
By the time Flying by Foy was established in 1957, the demand for Peter Foy’s personal services had extended to flying stars on television, special flying and mechanical effects for lavish Las Vegas production shows and wire work for feature films. But it was the volume of requests for productions of Peter Pan that repeatedly sent him back to the drawing board to design new systems for flying the show as it turned up in non-standard theatrical venues.