Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: The play, The Women of Lockerbie, will soon be appearing as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about its premise?
Leah Verrill: In 1988, PanAm Flight 103 was heading out of London towards JFK when a bomb went off during the flight and killed everyone on board. It crashed in the small town of Lockerbie, Scotland. The play is a fictional account that takes place seven years after the crash. One of the mothers of the victims has come to look for her son’s remains. The women in town meet her and are also petitioning the US government over the rights of the victim’s clothes. They wish to wash and give the clothes back to the victim’s families. They want to give back to the ones who suffered so that hate will not triumph.
BD: As the producer and star, what attracted you to the project?
LV: The style of this play by playwright Deborah Brevoort is a modern Greek tragedy. The words are beautiful; it’s like listening to poetry. As an actor, it’s such a gift to play a role so eloquently written. As a producer, I felt this was an important story to tell because it gives a different prospective. There are the ones who lost loved ones and the ones who witnessed the attack.
Everyone is so passionate about this piece, and we were all attached to it for such personal reasons. When art comes from the heart, it always becomes something really unique and special. The process has been very freeing. Our amazing director Jim Blanchette was in New York during the first couple of weeks of rehearsals, finishing up two directing projects off Broadway. So, there was a little extra time at the beginning for us to really work on character development and relating to each other as a cast. When he returned, we were ready to jump into the logistics and technical aspects.
BD: What do you hope that audiences will take away from the show?
LV: I hope they come away feeling that “love and kindness help.” That love can triumph over hate.
BD: What makes the Hollywood Fringe Festival an ideal venue for The Women of Lockerbie?
LV: The play takes place outside in the evening, so the set and props in this play are ideal for a festival, because they are so simple but really beautiful. It has developed into this gorgeous experience with lights and simple set pieces. Plus, it really gives the artists the chance to work their craft instead of having to focus on all of the extras. This play that has been very successfully produced and performed all over the world but hasn’t been done in LA very many times. It’s also a relatively short piece, running only about 75 minutes which also is ideal for Fringe.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects that you would care to share with our readers?
LV: Little Earthquakes will be mounting another full-length show at the end of the year and also an evening of standup at Ocean View Bar and Grill in Montrose starting in late June.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about and purchase tickets for The Women of Lockerbie?
LV: Tickets can be purchased at our direct link or at the door. The show show times are June 3rd at 9 p.m., June 9th at 11:30 a.m., June 15 at 8:30 p.m., June 17th at 9:30 p.m., and June 20th at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12. Studio/Stage is located at 520 North Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90004.