DramaCentre’s production of Boeing Boeing lands at Weisiger Theatre, Nov. 12-15
French playwright Marc Camoletti’s famous farce Boeing Boeing will soon take the Weisiger Theatre stage for a four-day flight. Known as one of the most widely performed comedies in recent times, the play’s storyline follows the seemingly ideal life of womanizer Bernard, who is engaged to three beautiful airline stewardesses without each knowing of the others. When speedy Boeing jets throw off Bernard’s careful planning, all three women arrive in his Paris apartment on the same day and imminent catastrophe looms.
Professor of Dramatic Arts Dr. Tony Haigh, who directs the production, says that this play follows the ancient form of drama, known as farce.
“It’s got all of the elements you need—a chaotic situation involving lovers and doors,” Haigh explains. “It has more to do with romantic relationships and situations that get out of control—lost letters, misunderstandings, one person coming into a room when they shouldn’t be. It’s all the timing of people coming and going, that makes all the fun.”
As the hilarity of this play is found in the timing, Haigh spent many rehearsals helping the “brilliant” cast understand the rhythms and patterns of comedy.
Working on the physicality of his comic performance has been the most rewarding part of this process for senior Joshua Jerome.
“For this show, in particular, because it is so physical and quick, we really had to play off of each other. I think that’s contributed a lot to the energy and all of the good times we’ve been having,” Jerome says.
This play is unlike any of the “serious and hardcore” shows DramaCentre has produced in recent years.
“Part of the role of DramaCentre is to offer, within any student’s four years, a range of dramatic options. We have a plan to cycle through different kinds of plays over a four-year period,” Haigh explains. “We do a musical and a Shakespeare play once every four years. This way, a student within their lifetime at Centre, will have the experience as an audience member, a wide variety of drama.”
Perhaps the biggest contrast comes in the size of Boeing Boeing’s cast—a group of just six actors, as compared to Macbeth’s 30.
“We’ve gotten to know each other really well and work on a different level than when the cast is 20 people,” says Magnus Kayser, who is studying at the College as part of an exchange program with Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance. “For me, as an exchange student, I didn’t know that many people, so that’s been a great thing, getting to know the people that I work with.”
Haigh hopes that this side-splitting show will give audiences the chance to laugh at life and “how chaotic it gets.”
“We’ve got a great cast and they’re having so much fun doing it, and comedy is hard to do. Edmund Kean, one of the great actors of the 18th-century, said on his deathbed, ‘Dying is easy, comedy is hard,’ and it really is,” Haigh says. “That’s what makes comedy fun, I think, and it should be fun. It should be fun for the actors and fun for the audience.”
DramaCentre’s production of Boeing Boeing opens on Wed., Nov. 12, and runs through Sat., Nov. 15, at 8 p.m. each night in Weisiger Theatre.
by Hayley Hoffman ’16
Photo: Rachel Bischoff ’18, Mariele Fluegeman ’15 and Magnus Kayser at a rehearsal of Boeing Boeing