Monday, April 23, 2012

This Week: SBU Theatre to Perform Award-Winning Play, “The Women of Lockerbie;” Playwright to Attend

Southwest Baptist University News Release
Contact: Sharina Smith, Office of Marketing & Communications
417-328-1803 /

BOLIVAR, Mo. – On April 26-28 at 7:00 p.m., SBU Theatre will perform a play that tackles the question: How do we respond in the face of terror?  Deborah Brevoort’s powerful play, “The Women of Lockerbie,” explores the response to the bombing of PanAm Flight 103 above Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.

photo by Morgan Gallatin
Based on actual events, “The Women of Lockerbie” tells the story of a grieving American couple who return to Lockerbie seven years after their son died on the plane. The couple encounters a group of Scottish women who are engaged in a laundry project aimed to bring healing to the families of those who died in the terrorist act. 

“We are thrilled that Ms. Brevoort will be in attendance for our production,” said Dr. Elissa Sartwell, Associate Professor of Theatre at the university. The playwright, Deborah Brevoort, will lead post-show discussions on Friday and Saturday. Brevoort’s visit is co-sponsored by the SBU Theatre program and the Barnett-Padgett Literary Artists Series. 

Dr. Sartwell believes that this play has a message for everyone.  “Many of our students today have never heard of PanAm, let alone Locerkbie, Scotland. Yet the play still speaks to them because it engages broader issues of grief, hate, revenge, and forgiveness.”

Scenic designer, and instructor in theatre, Jonathan Wehmeyer has built a set that pays homage to a classical Greek theatre. “The play is structured as a Greek tragedy,” Wehmeyer notes, “and we wanted to allow that structure to be visually present throughout the performance,” he adds.

The student performers are looking forward to the production.  “How many times do you get to perform a show for the person who wrote it? It’s humbling,” said sophomore Lindsay Gingrich. Junior Jeff Young, who portrays a grieving American father, agrees that this is a fantastic opportunity. “So many times, you have lingering questions about a script.  And here, we’re going to have the chance to ask the playwright those questions.”

Senior David Ezzell has served as the productions theatre chaplain, leading the cast and crew on a study of grief and forgiveness. The students have welcomed this experience to fuse their faith and their art. “I didn’t know how much of a tool this show would be in my own grieving process,” say Young, whose grandfather passed away just before rehearsals began for the show.

“There’s a process of healing that we go through during each rehearsal,” says Gingrich, who portrays one of the Scottish women. “The Women of Lockerbie” is directed by Dr. Sartwell. Scene Design is by Jonathan Wehmeyer. Senior, Jonathan Riggert serves as the lighting designer, and junior, Hannah Joyce has supplied sound design for the production. Freshman Heidi Dehn stage manages a cast of nine student performers. The cast features senior Amy Marrs as Madeline; junior Jeff Young as Bill; junior Shannon Gray as Olive; junior Josh Brown as George; junior Rachel Joyce as Hattie; and juniors Samantha Phinney, Lauren Schriver, Samantha Thomas and sophomore Lindsay Gingrich as “the women” of Lockerbie.

Ticket prices are as follows:  $5 for adults; $3 for SBU alumni, senior citizens, and students of other schools; $2 for SBU students; and complimentary for SBU faculty and staff.  For more information, call 417-328-1691 or visit

PHOTO opportunities for Media:
April 23 at 7:00p.m. photo call for production shots (Davis-Newport Theatre).
April 27th between 3-5 p.m. to get pictures of the playwright teaching a group of students (Jester Conference Room).
April 27and/or April 28 immediately following the performance (about 8:30 p.m.) to get pictures of the playwright leading a post-show discussion.

Southwest Baptist University is a leader among private universities in truly integrating Christ-centered academic pursuits with comprehensive professional programs at an affordable price. At SBU, the faculty and staff create a caring, academic community to prepare students to be servant leaders in a global society. For more information, visit

SBU’s Office of Marketing and Communications is available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 399-7918.