Theatricum Botanicum will present Deborah Brevoort's The Women of Lockerbie beginning June 30 on Theatricum's outdoor stage in Topanga Canyon, and continue through the end of September.
Inspired by a true story, The Women of Lockerbie is a stunning tribute to the triumph of love over hate. A mother from New Jersey roams the hills of Lockerbie Scotland, looking for her son's remains, which were lost in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103. There, she meets the women of Lockerbie who are fighting the U.S. Government to obtain 11,000 pieces of clothing found in the plane's wreckage. Determined to convert an act of hatred into an act of love, the women want to wash the clothes of the dead and return them to the bereaved families.
Melora Marshall directs a cast that includes Susan Angelo, Giana Bommarito, Ian Campbell, Blake Edwards, Liz Eldridge, Ellen Geer, Thad Geer, Katherine Griffith, Victoria Hilyard, Emily McLeod, Taylor Jackson Ross, Elizabeth Tobias and Frank Weidner.
Brevoort was inspired by a documentary she saw on Nightline that included a short segment about the elderly women who had started the laundry project. "I was so moved, it took my breath away," she said. "I had never seen anything like that. It took them a year to wash all the clothes and return them to the families. It was so heroic- like the Trojan women."
The Women of Lockerbie is the recipient of the Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays Award and the Silver Medal in the Onassis International Playwriting Competition. It has been produced all over the US, as well as in Scotland, Japan, Greece, Spain, Belarus, Poland, Australia and England. Published in the US by Dramatists Play Service, it has also been published in Poland and Greece and is translated into seven languages.
Theatricum Botanicum is renowned for its productions of Shakespeare and modern classics in a spectacular outdoor setting. Its beginnings can be traced to the early 1950s when Will Geer, a victim of the McCarthy era Hollywood blacklist (before he became known as the beloved Grandpa on TV's "The Waltons") opened a theater for blacklisted actors and folk singers on his property in Topanga. Friends such as Ford Rainey, John Randolph and Woody Guthrie joined him on the dirt stage for vigorous performances and inspired grassroots activism, while the audiences sat on railroad ties. Today the theater is run by his family. Two outdoor amphitheaters are situated in a natural canyon ravine, where audiences are able to relax and enjoy the wilderness during an afternoon or evening's performance. Unlike most theaters in the Los Angeles area that stage continuous runs of a single play, Theatricum, using a company of actors, performs each play on a rotating basis so that it is possible to see all four mainstage plays in a single summer weekend.
The Women of Lockerbie opens on Saturday, June 30 and continues through September 29, running in repertory with Shakespeare's Measure for Measure and A Midsummer Night's Dream, George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House, and Cherry Docs by David Gow. On Friday Aug. 24, Friday, Sept. 21 and Friday, Sept. 28 Theatricum will offer "Highlander Banquet" dinners in the theater's adjacent gardens at 6:30 pm, followed by an 8 pm performance. (Separate admission, or combination packages available.)
The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum is located at 1419 North Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Topanga, midway between Malibu and the San Fernando Valley For a complete schedule of performances and to purchase tickets, call (310) 455-3723 or visit online at www.theatricum.com.