Reach for the Sky Explores Identity and Humanity

The original play Reach for the Sky, written and directed by Cole Romero (they/them) ’22, will premiere at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts Black Box Theatre October 28-30.  The play follows the titular Sky (they/them) as they journey through their mind and learn to accept themself for who they are.  Through song and vignettes, gender identity is examined to answer the question, “what does it truly mean to be human?”

Romero says the play “seeks to share their weird experience, and try to find clarity in all the confusion.”  The fully immersive performance will “embrace vulnerability, and brings the audience right next to the action.”

Original music for the show is by composer and music director Luke Ellis (he/him) ’24. “I first approached the music with just a single line of lyrics in mind,” says Ellis on his writing process. “I really internalized what that line meant in the context of the show, then I just saw what my fingers play and where my mind went.”

“This piece is a culmination of years of confusing experiences surrounding gender, relationships, and existence,” notes Romero. “I wanted to create an experience on stage that could attempt to articulate the experience inside my head as a human being.” They hope that the audience will “understand that the past can shape who you are, but you don’t have to let it control you.”

Reach for the Sky opens on October 28th at 7:30 p.m., with additional performances on October 29th at 5:00 p.m., and October 30th at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The event is free and open to the public. Campus visitors and members of the public must adhere to Cornell’s public health requirements for events, which include wearing masks while indoors and providing proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test.


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