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Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State San Bernardino partner to present reading of ‘The Women of Lockerbie’

Women of Lockerbie

Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State San Bernardino partner to present reading of ‘The Women of Lockerbie’

6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 2

Barnes Theatre, Cal State San Bernardino, 5500 University Parkway, San Bernardino.

Free to attend, but RSVP is required and seating is limited. Contact Scott Kruger (see below) to inquire about RSVPs.

An outreach effort taking form as a stage reading of “The Women of Lockerbie,” a Cal Poly Pomona theatre production that will open on May 19.

The Cal Poly Pomona Department of Theatre and New Dance, in partnership with the Department of Theatre Arts at Cal State San Bernardino, will present a play reading whose director says is a “care package of healing.”

At 6:30 p.m. on May 2, the cast of Cal Poly Pomona’s “The Women of Lockerbie” will perform a free stage reading of the play at Cal State San Bernardino’s Barnes Theatre – three weeks ahead of the full production’s May 19 opening in Pomona.

The play begins seven years after the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland, when a New Jersey mother of a slain American student roams the hills of Lockerbie looking for her son’s lost remains in the wreckage. She meets the women of Lockerbie, who are fighting the United States government to obtain the clothing of the victims found in the plane’s wreckage.

“The women want to wash the clothing and return it to the victims’ families,” said Bernardo Solano, director of the production and chairman of the Cal Poly Pomona Department of Theatre and New Dance. “The play is primarily about these women from this community who understand how the simple act of washing the clothes of the victims is something tangible that they can do that will contribute to healing.”

In a nutshell, “The Women of Lockerbie” is a story of a community healing from tragedy, and a story Solano said he wanted to share with the San Bernardino community as it continues to heal from the December 2015 terrorist shootings.

Solano said he – like many others – “felt struck down” when he learned of the 2015 attack. As an artist and educator who focuses on community theatre, however, Solano intimately understands how art can play a role in a community’s healing and generating empathy from members of other communities.

“What art can do is give us the vicarious appreciation of what someone is going through,” he said. “We hope no one will ever have to go through it, but by having experienced it along with the characters in the story, it’s a cathartic experience for us so that our empathy, patience and compassion grow exponentially for those people.”

Overall, Solano said he wants audiences to “feel a little closer to one another” after they see “The Women of Lockerbie.”

“I want people to be inspired to be kinder, be gentler and appreciate all those traits that we give a lot of lip service to, but don’t practice often enough,” he said. “I also want this reading to feel like a care package of healing for the San Bernardino community.”

Although Solano admits “The Women of Lockerbie” is an emotionally challenging play by its content alone, he said playwright Deborah Brevoort’s use of a Greek chorus – in the form of the collective women who live in Lockerbie –is one of several ways the play protects itself from becoming too overwhelming for viewers.

While the reading at Cal State San Bernardino won’t make use of the production’s set, the set will include visuals that will suspend the play’s reality just enough to the same effect.

For more information about “The Womeon of Lockerbie,” visit www.cpp.edu/~class/theatre-new-dance.

 

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