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Winter play tackles an impressive set and serious story

Sari+Gluck%2810%29+and+Adam+Logan%2812%29+argue+on+stage+about+the+fate+of+the+clothes+of+the+victims+of+flight+103.
Sari Gluck(10) and Adam Logan(12) argue on stage about the fate of the clothes of the victims of flight 103.

Sari Gluck(10) and Adam Logan(12) argue on stage about the fate of the clothes of the victims of flight 103.

Ethan Schuster

Ethan Schuster

Sari Gluck(10) and Adam Logan(12) argue on stage about the fate of the clothes of the victims of flight 103.

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It’s not often that a river is constructed inside of a building. It’s even less often that the river has been temporarily constructed for a high school play.

This set was constructed for the VHHS winter play, “The Women of Lockerbie.” The stage is designed to look like a portion of a Scottish hillside, where much of the play takes place.

“We made a platform that outlined the shape of it. We put plywood in around the edges of the river and then lined it by stapling plastic to the wood. Water was put in it, and a hose and filter was installed to keep it running,” Crew member Isabella Pineda (10) explained.

This has been one of the most intensive set productions that VHHS has put on. Yet the gravity of the story might still outweigh the impressive design of the set. The play is about a fictional couple, Madeline and Bill Livingston, who lost their son in the real tragedy of Pan Am 103, a flight that crashed into the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

“I [Bill] am there with my wife [Madeline] to attend the anniversary of the crash to try and get over lasting grief that we have from our loss,” Senior Adam Lawdan, the male lead of the play, explained.

Madeline Livingstone is searching Lockerbie for any trace of her deceased son. There, she and her husband meet the namesake women of Lockerbie, who are attempting to return the clothes of the victims to their families. The women are acting against the will of American State Department agent George Jones, played by Adam Logan (12).

“The husband [Bill] is talking to the women of Lockerbie, and they learn that there are clothes left over from the crash that are going to be burned due to contamination. The whole plot is them going against Adam Logan [George Jones], whose job it is to destroy the clothes,” Caylee Brand (11), one of the actresses in the play said.

The play isn’t without its laughs, but it does try to take the matter seriously. As lead actress Nikki Medanovic (12) points out, the theme of this play is grief.

“[The play] will make you think of grief in a whole other way. It’s about properly grieving and seeing how people do that,” Medanovic said.

This year, Vernon Hills High School is trying to integrate the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals into the school’s curriculum and culture. The fifth goal, a main focus of the school, has to do with gender equality. The fact that the winter play is written by a woman, Deborah Brevoort, is not a coincidence.

“I looked back on the thirty or so shows that I’ve directed, and only four of them were written by women. That hadn’t been something that I had even thought about,” Ms. Freichels, the director, said. “I thought that if we were focusing on the global goals, we should pick some plays that are written by women and that feature some really strong female characters.”

“The Women of Lockerbie” will be performed on Feb. 1, 2 and 3 at 7 p.m. in the Studio Theater.

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Winter play tackles an impressive set and serious story