THE WOMEN OF LOCKERBIE
Loosely based on the true events surrounding the terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 103 and the clothes washing project that followed, this play tells a story of taking an act of hate, and creating an act of love. Lee’s Summit High School produced this moving story of “The Women of Lockerbie” on February 20-21, 27-28 & March 1st.
This story follows Bill and Madeline Livingston, on the night of December 21, 1995, the Winter solstice, in Lockerbie, Scotland. The couple has traveled from New Jersey to attend a vigil for those lost in the Pan Am 103 flight bombing 7 years earlier. Bill is hoping it will provide some sense of closure for the couple who lost their college aged son, Adam. Madeline, however, keeps pushing him and their relationship away and will not stop searching until she finds something of Adam’s. Meanwhile, the women of Lockerbie, led by Olive Alison, aim to obtain the remaining 11,000 articles of clothing from the crisis to wash them and return them to their families, in hopes of bringing closure not only for the families of the victims, but also for themselves. In the end, the women of Lockerbie do get the clothing and Madeline & Bill are given the suitcase of their son, Adam, after George Jones finds it in the storage. As the sun rises on a new day, the women are found washing the clothes in the stream–taking what was done in hate and transforming it into a tangible act of love.
This production was made unique by staging it in the round, keeping the audience close to the actors, helping them to feel as if they were actually there on the hills of Lockerbie with the actors. The mood was set by having the audience enter through a “hall of names” featuring the names, occupations & ages of each of the people lost by the horrific incident. Once in the theatre, the audience could see news clips of the event helping to set the mood before the show started. With a fog in the air and the low-lighting of night, the audience was instantly transported to another place.
Coupled with the in the round approach, there were 3 7’x12′ flats covered in bleach muslin flanking 3 sides of the space, that were used for projection. This is where the news clips were projected for the pre-show, but as the show began, they each transitioned to a starry sky with a large moon that traveled from the first screen slowly across the remaining screens throughout the show helping to depict the passage of time. Then as the night gave way to morning the screens transitioned into a sunrise that matched the lighting to show the break of a new day.
This production served as a great history lesson for the students involved because not one of them was aware of the event before auditioning for the show. Having to learn about the background of the situation, although tragic and dark, was a meaningful and fun experience for those involved.
Learning to act in a different style, arena or in the round, was another challenging and fun concept the students were able to grow from. This production provided them the unique opportunity to be a part of a production staged in an approach other than the typical proscenium approach.
Moving the audience nightly, this served as a great learning experience for the cast and crew involved, that they wished did not have to end!
This production design was accomplished through the work of both students and adults alike.
DIRECTOR: Micah Hensley
SET DESIGN: Joe Breeden
LIGHTING/VIDEO DESIGN: Micah Hensley
SOUND DESIGN: Micah Hensley
COSTUME DESIGN: Georgianne Huckfeldt
PROPERTIES: Taylor Snyder