@ The Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St.

Women of Lockerbie

By Deborah Brevoort, directed by Nikka Ziemer

  • L to R: Bill (Jack Ullrich), Madeline (Karen Caroe). George (Eric Hadley), Olive (Nancy Cline Tafoya), Hattie (Virginia Ostendorf), Woman 2 (Yvette Crofford) and Woman 1 (Nora Brown)
  • (L to R): George (Eric Hadley) and Bill (Jack Ullrich)
  • (L to R): Woman 2 (Yvette Crofford), Woman 1 (Nora Brown), Bill (Jack Ullrich) and Olive (Nancy Cline Tafoya)
  • (L to R): Madeline (Karen Caroe) and Olive (Nancy Cline Tafoya)
  • (L to R): Woman 1 (Nora Brown), Bill (Jack Ullrich) and Woman 2 (Yvette Crofford),
  • (L to R): Woman 2 (Yvette Crofford), Woman 1 (Nora Brown) and Madeline (Karen Caroe)
  • (L to R): George (Eric Hadley) and Hattie (Virginia Ostendorf)
  • (L to R): Madeline (Karen Caroe) and Bill (Jack Ullrich)
  • (L to R): Olive (Nancy Cline Tafoya) George (Eric Hadley), Hattie (Virginia Ostendorf) and Bill (Jack Ullrich)
  • (L to R): Madeline (Karen Caroe), Bill (Jack Ullrich) and Olive (Nancy Cline Tafoya)
  • (L to R): George (Eric Hadley), Bill (Jack Ullrich) and Hattie (Virginia Ostendorf)

Mar 14-Mar 30, 2014

FRI MAR 14,21,28| 8:00 PM
SAT MAR 15,22,29| 8:00 PM
SUN MAR 23,30| 2:30 PM
THU MAR 27 | 7:00 PM


On December 21, 1988 Pan Am flight 103 exploded above Lockerbie, Scotland killing all 259 aboard, most of whom were American, and killing 11 people on the ground. In the ensuing days a group of Lockerbie women sought the personal items strewn over miles of the Scottish countryside, laundering the clothing once it was not needed as evidence and returning it along with other items such as billfolds and pictures. After 9/11 Deborah Brevoort became aware that the horrors of that day enlarged an American understanding of the awful scope of the tragedy of Pan Am 103 which by 2005 culminated in her play, "The Women of Lockerbie."

Performed in many major American cities as well as several countries abroad, "The Women of Lockerbie" is written in the style of Greek tragedy, through the fictional story of an American couple who visits Lockerbie seven years after losing their son in the crash. Their interaction with several women of Lockerbie involved in The Washing Project leads to healing for all who had been so cruelly touched by the devastation. Deborah Brevoort has done an exceptional job exploring the crippling reality of grieving and leads us to ponder the possibility of forgiveness and healing.

"The Women of Lockerbie" by Deborah Brevoort directed by Nikka Ziemer, opens on Friday, March 14 and runs through Sunday, March 30 at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N Downtown Mall in Las Cruces. On Wednesday,. Dec. 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded in midair as it traveled from London to New York City. Brevoort based her 2005 poetic drama on the terrorist attack. The play is written with the structure of a Greek tragedy. In it, a woman whose son died in the bombing discovers a group of women who are trying to collect the victims' clothing, which had been scattered across Lockerbie. They plan to wash 11,000 items as a symbolic gesture, but find resistance from a U.S. official. Brevoort won the Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays Award for her script.


Woman 1
Woman 2
Light And Scenic Design
Light And Sound Board Operator
Stage Manager
Written By


A journey to redemption - 'Lockerbie' an eerily well-timed production

- By Gerald M. Kane , Las Cruces Bulletin

What an eerie coincidence it is the No Strings Theatre Company decided more than a year ago to mount a production of Deborah Brevoort's award-winning play "The Women of Lockerbie" at the same time the world is consumed with the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. A very sad kismet moment, indeed.

Watching the grieving families in Beijing and Kuala Lumpur on television, along with military and government "experts" attempting to figure out what really transpired, one is able to put this current tragic situation in better human perspective by attending the marvelous presentation of "The Women of Lockerbie" at the Black Box Theatre, under the exceedingly skillful direction of Nikka Gornitzka Ziemer.

For those unaware of the Lockerbie catastrophe, which occurred on Dec. 21, 1988, Pan Am flight 103, headed to JFK airport in New York from London, exploded above Lockerbie, Scotland, due to a bomb placed in a piece of luggage, killing all 259 aboard, most of whom were American, in addition to 11 Lockerbie residents on the ground.
In the ensuing days and years, a group of Lockerbie women sought the personal items strewn over miles of the Scottish countryside, laundering the clothing once they were not needed as evidence and returning them along with other items such as billfolds and pictures. The U.S. State Department sent over a diplomat who would not release the clothing, choosing to destroy it because it was "contaminated." This is the tale of the outcome of the conflict between the women of Lockerbie, the diplomat and our government.

After Sept. 11, 2001, playwright Brevoort saw the need to put a human face on tragedy, grief, acceptance, love and moving forward. This dramatic masterpiece is an hour and 25-minute (no intermission) mini-course on Elizabeth Kubler Ross' iconic work on the stages of grief.

Also, without our knowing, it teaches us elements of Greek tragedy, which is the form of the play that Brevoort selected. This brilliant amalgam makes the play so touching, powerful, brilliant and compelling.

Without giving too much plot away, so as not to spoil your appreciation, the play tells the story of Madeline and Bill, parents of 19-year-old Adam, a student and passenger on the Pan Am plane. After seven years, they have come to Lockerbie to mourn for their son at the annual memorial service, held each year on Dec. 21. Madeline desperately seeks to find some memento or "piece" of Adam by roaming Lockerbie's hills. The parents are aided by local resident and community activist Olive and two friends - they comprise the Greek chorus - all of whom were personally touched by the tragedy that happened in their own neighborhoods and back yards.

How difficult it is to attain a flawless Scottish brogue, and yet Nancy Clein Tafoya, Nora Brown, Yvette Crofford and Virginia Ostendorf do so effortlessly and convincingly.

Hearty praise to each of you!As the grieving parents, Karen Caroe and Jack Ullrich deliver particularly nuanced, amazing performances and elicit tremendous empathy. They tug at our heartstrings throughout the play. We feel their intense pain and anger. Together, along with Tafoya, they must be physically exhausted at the end of each performance.

Virginia Ostendorf, the cleaning woman at the storage warehouse where the remains and personal effects are kept, along with the expeditious American diplomat Eric Hadley, bring a touch of comic relief when needed and prepare us for the intense, emotionally climactic concluding section of the play.

The journey from disbelief, anger, grief, pain and acceptance to ultimate healing, resolution and redemption is one which touches each and every one of us in one form or another.

There is not a person in this world that has not grappled with issues of loss and mourning in one form or other. "The Women of Lockerbie" gives us insight, strength and wisdom to overcome whatever may be thrown down from the sky and fall at our feet.

Do yourself a favor and make reservations immediately to see this very important, impressive and special theatrical event.

Bravo to all!

"The Women of Lockerbie" plays at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St., through Sunday, March 30. Performances are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinees March 23 and 30, and a 7 p.m. performance Thursday, March 27. Reservations can be made by calling the Black Box Theatre at 523-1223.


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