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‘Boeing Boeing’ to have audiences in stitches during Crossroads Rep production

June 14, 2016

There is a depth and complexity to the characters in the Crossroads Repertory Theatre's upcoming production of "Boeing Boeing" that director Lauren Morris hopes the audience will enjoy as much as she does.

Opening June 24, "Boeing Boeing" was written by French playwright Marc Camoletti and is set in the 1960s and tells the story of American playboy Bernard Lawrence who uses airline timetables to devise a system to simultaneously carry on affairs with three flight attendants until the arrival of his friend.

"I love that on first glance this play looks like it's going to be sexist and shallow, but in the end it celebrates women and men in a remarkably modern way," Morris said. "The original English production was in 1962 in London, so just by our vastly changed sensibilities as audience members and artists, ours will be different. What's interesting is that the London production was a huge hit, and when they brought it to New York three years later in 1965, it flopped.

"I don't know for sure because I didn't see the two productions, but I would bet that it had a lot to do with what was happening in the U.S. at that point. Audiences maybe weren't craving a big, bold, silly sex farce when things were coming apart at the seams socially."

The show came about when the civil rights movement was at its peak, the Vietnam War was just beginning and there was a major sexual revolution at hand, Morris said.

"We set our production in 1962 specifically because of the innocence that seems to have existed in mid-century America before President Kennedy was shot, and also because of the ways the feminine ideal was starting to change, in part due to the popularity of Jackie Kennedy," she said. "While this is a piece set in the 60s and very much operates in that paradigm, it is being performed for an audience who has the historical perspective of how feminism, relationships, male-female power dynamics and plain old comedy have evolved."

The artists creating the show naturally have that perspective, too.

"It's important to me that this doesn't just become a show about a cad and his womanizing. I don't want to watch a play about that," Morris said. "However, a play about four women who are in charge of their own destiny and men who are totally mesmerized by smart, powerful women--that is also hilariously funny and sweet - that I'd sit for two hours to see."

Although he'll have a front row seat for the action, Simon McNair will be busy as assistant stage manager keeping track of the costumes and props backstage.

After starting rehearsals for Boeing Boeing in May, McNair has seen a new side of what it takes for a play to come together.

"This is my first time in a position like this because I am usually a performer in productions like this," said McNair, who recent Indiana State University graduate who also will be a performer in the Crossroads Rep show, "Big Bad Bullysaurus." "There's a load of organization required as assistant stage manager and I've been surprised to see all the work that goes into it, and it's given me a new appreciation for people who do backstage work more often than I do. I'm definitely getting a different theatre experience, but in this field the more skills you have and the more you learn to do, the easier it is to get other work so this experience is really helpful for that."

Morris is thankful for the cast, creative team and crew members, like McNair, who have given of their time and talents to produce a show the audience is sure to enjoy.

"The cast, crew and creative team are absolute pros, all of them, and they're generous with each other, with me, and with their willingness to try anything," she said. "I'm so pleased with what we've achieved so far, and I am relishing every last second of it. I've especially enjoyed working with some old friends from my past days here at ISU."

A 2001 Indiana State graduate with a degree in theatre, Morris' first professional job was as an undergraduate in 1998. She went on to earn her MFA/MBA in theatre management from California State University-Long Beach in 2010.

"I've been working in the theatre in one form or another since then and being back and directing ‘Boeing Boeing' really brings the experience full circle for me," she said.

Morris decided to become a Sycamore following Summer Honors during her junior year of high school with Lew Hackleman, another Crossroads Rep director.

"I fell in love with everything about the theater department and my time here was a very formative experience for me and prepared me well for a career in professional theatre," she said. "Lew is also directing this summer, and it makes me beyond happy to be back in the same building with him, though I'll admit that it's a little eerie to be back after so many years. It's almost like I expect to turn the corner and run into a much younger version of myself. It does add an additional layer of meaning for me, to be doing theatre again where I began."

"Boeing Boeing" runs at 7:30 p.m. June 24 and 25 and July 13 and 21 and at 4 p.m. June 26 and July 17 in Indiana State's New Theater, 540 N. 7th St. Single-production tickets are available for $20.

For tickets to the show, call 812-237-3333 or go to

Photo: - Drew Hampton plays Bernard in the Crossroads Repertory Theatre production "Boeing Boeing." (ISU/Hunter Henderson)

Photo: - Molly LeCaptain, Drew Hampton, Betsy Baer and Emily Wirkus rehearse for the Crossroads Repertory Theatre's production of "Boeing Boeing." (ISU/Hunter Henderson)

Contact: Trevor Bridgewater, marketing and publicity director, 812-241-5638,

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or

Story Highlights

Opening June 24, "Boeing Boeing" tells the story of American playboy Bernard Lawrence who uses airline timetables to devise a system to simultaneously carry on affairs with three flight attendants until the arrival of his friend.

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