Fly By Night

Old School MapQuest: Celestial Navigation


ETC Fly By Night 2web

Ever wonder how people found their way from here to there in the olden days (you know, before there was an app for that)? They looked to the sky! By following the stars, ships have sailed and travelers have traversed to lands never seen before.

In ETC’s enchanting rock-fable musical Fly By Night, Miriam and Daphne follow their stars (literally and figuratively) to New York City, where the sky is set for new adventures! Thanks to the celestial skills they learned from their father, Miriam and Daphne navigate their way toward hope.

This United States Navy film from 1942 is a great example of how Miriam and Daphne would have learned to read the night sky:

Want to follow your own stars this September? Check out these simple steps for celestial navigation:

  1. Look for a large ladle in the sky: the Big Dipper. It should be sitting somewhere along the horizon.
  2. See the bowl of the Big Dipper? The two stars opposite the handle are called Pointer Stars. Using your finger, draw a line from the bottom Pointer Star to the top Pointer Star, then keep the line going straight above the bowl of the Big Dipper.
  3. As you draw your line straight up from the bowl of the Big Dipper, look for the constellation Ursa Minor (the Little Bear), also called the Little Dipper. This constellation is made of 7 stars and it looks like the Big Dipper, but has a curved handle.
  4. As you draw your line from the basin of the Big Dipper, your finger should land on the end of the Little Dipper’s handle. This star is called Polaris, the North Star.
  5. Now that you have found the North Star, you can use it as a compass to find your way north, south, east, and west!

Navigate your way to Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati to see Fly By Night September 1-29. In this darkly comic rock-fable, a gypsy prophecy propels melancholy sandwich-maker Harold and two bewitching sisters through a star-crossed journey of love and connection. Featuring a catchy score and inventive story-telling, this sweeping ode to young love culminates during the Northeast blackout of 1965 and is a tale about finding light in a world beset by darkness.

Performance Information

Performances run Tuesday through Sunday. Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30 pm; Friday and Saturday, 8:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 2:00 pm; and Sunday, 7:00 pm. A complete calendar of performances is available online at


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