‘The Women of Lockerbie’ packs powerful message of transcendence


“When evil comes into the world, it is the job of the witness to turn it to love.”

This line from an upcoming play sums up the themes of the emotionally charged production, “The Women of Lockerbie,” by Deborah Brevoot.

[media-credit name=”Graphic courtesy of Melissa S. Post” align=”alignright” width=”246″][/media-credit]
There are 270 Celtic knots in the design, each knot representing a life lost in the Lockerbie bombing.
Starting Thursday, BYU Theatre will present a historical dramatization of the aftermath of the Lockerbie bombing of 1988. While flying over the Scottish city of Lockerbie, a plane on its way to New York City was bombed, killing all 259 individuals on board. The wreckage fell on the town and killed an additional 11 people.

Jenny Huffman, from Burbank, Calif., studying theatre media arts, is the director of this senior student directing project. Huffman selected “The Women of Lockerbie” as her directing project  because she believes it has a beautifully written script and highlights a tragedy most students don’t know about.

“The play is powerful and it deals with a very heavy subject,” Huffman said. “It shows the experience of several different viewpoints surrounding this tragedy and how all these different people respond to it, and how they learn and grow just by realizing that we are all a community and that we can only progress in our own eternal progression with the help of others and the love of others.”

Holly Mancuso, a junior from Rochester, N.Y.,  is in charge of props and is the production’s dramaturge. The dramaturge is responsible for researching and developing the play — a role that proved to be vital in helping the actors understand the history behind the play.

The play focuses on  “The Laundry Project,” an act of charity the women of Lockerbie took upon themselves to assist the affected families.

“To help the Americans grieve, they took the clothing articles that had been in the victims’ luggage, cleaned them and sent them to their families in America,” Mancuso said.

Eliot Wood, a senior and acting major from Centerville, plays a father from New Jersey who journeys to Lockerbie with his wife, mourning for their son who died in the crash. Wood believes the play will prove to be a spiritual experience for anyone who attends.

“You will understand yourself and the world better because of this show,” Wood said. “To me it’s important for people to realize that theater is not just about being entertained or seeing something that is pretty – it’s about finding something new about yourself and finding something new in life that you can share with others.”

Katie Jarvis, 20-year-old theater major from Grants Pass, Ore., plays one of the women of Lockerbie who participated in “The Laundry Project.”

“It is a very heavy play, there is a lot of grief and a lot of hatred,” Jarvis said. “But we can overcome these things — that is the theme of the play. We can choose love over hate, no matter what.”

The play will be presented in the Margetts Theatre of the Harris Fine Arts Center and will run from Thursday to Saturday with performances at 7:30 p.m., and a matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $6 and are available online at arts.byu.edu/tickets or at the Fine Arts Ticket Center in the HFAC.

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