Fall Play 2021 – The Women of Lockerbie


Credit: @SandburgHS on twitter

Salam El-Natour, Staff Reporter

This year’s fall play, The Women of Lockerbie, took a turn from the previous year’s, opting for a more serious story, as opposed to a comedy. Loosely based on a true story, the play depicts a story in Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1938, about a couple who had lost their son to a plane accident in flight Pan Am 103. Families fight to bring justice to victims of the disaster, focusing on the powerlessness and escape from darkness in times of grief. This play presented a new performance that would expand the horizons of Sandburg’s performances, trying something new, or even balance out old ones.

In retrospect to the musical last year, this year’s fully in-person performance was very different, which resulted in more opportunities for students who are interested in the performing arts to participate. Speaking on behalf of the play, Ms. Etchason comments, “There’s fewer roles, and usually in a play there’s fewer roles, musicals are always bigger so we had a lot more people involved; we had a pit orchestra, there’s no orchestra here. The lighting can change more because when we were outside it was like your light was stationary, it did not move. So you could only do so much, this time we’re gonna be able to do y’know fog affects… It’s gonna be fun. We’re gonna be able to have a bigger audience, so that’s good.”

In regards to the difference between past years and now still dealing with partial Covid restrictions she explains, “Coming out of that experience that everyone had with Covid, it was jarring to people, it was frustrating, it was very emotionally challenging to a lot of people and having a show that talks about grief and healing and processing with loss, that’s kind of what the show is all about.¨

As much as Sandburg would like to go back to normal and perform plays as they were prior to Covid, we can’t. Instead we adapt and improvise to hopefully create a new normal.

The play wasn’t only chosen to entertain and maintain the audience’s attention, but to relate to the viewers as well. To explain the thoughts behind making the decision Ms. Etchason explains, ¨They’re not gonna be able to connect to the bombing of Lockerbie, Pan am 103, and Lockerbie, Scotland, but on some level be able to say ‘How do you move on from bad times? How do you move on from tragedy? How do you take the most therapeutic or healing path from something that’s devastatingly scary or tragic?”. 

Although the production of the play had to overcome certain obstacles, it had a successful performance as the first live performance in the performing arts center (PAC) at Sandburg since staff and students have been able to get back. Those interested in performing arts are especially looking forward to being fully in person once again and look forward to pursuing their passion.