Farce-ful French play “Boeing, Boeing” brings relationship drama to the Ball State stage

Topic: College of Fine Arts

January 30, 2017

Boeing Boeing

Cast members from Ball State’s February production of “Boeing Boeing” include theater students (L to R) Brent Knipper, Sophie Foldvari, Frankie Zabilka, and Courtney Martin.

Photo credit: Kip Shawger

Fasten your seatbelts for a trip back to Paris in the ‘60s as Ball State’s Department of Theatre and Dance prepares to take off with “Boeing Boeing.” The production opens Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in University Theatre. Performances continue Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 5 at 2:30 p.m. and Feb. 7-11 at 7:30 p.m.

A classic farce that’s become one of France’s most staged plays, “Boeing Boeing” tells the story of a bachelor named Bernard and his humorous engagement to three stewardesses at once, unbeknownst to the women.

Bernard’s life hits some turbulence when—thanks to the advances of a new, faster Boeing jet—all three women find themselves in Paris at the same time with Bernard. Add his shy friend Robert to the mix and complications abound for the duo as the men lose track of which lies to keep straight to the women.

Student dramaturg Izzy Heins said she appreciates the nuanced way the playwright, Marc Camoletti, created a play fitting for a turbulent time in history.

“The world was begging for change, and it wasn’t going to be quiet,” said Heins, a sophomore from Wisconsin. “But why write a comedy at this time of tumult? Certainly it’s because Camoletti thought people needed to laugh, or perhaps to show that love can overcome anything, and sometimes it takes a crazy night of coming and going to prove who loves you and who doesn’t.”

The student cast was directed by guest artist Calvin MacLean, artistic director of the Clarence Brown Theatre in Knoxville, Tennessee.

“With all its silliness and slamming doors, physical game playing and fear of commitment, the play has a serious sentiment: to know thyself and to learn who you really are,” MacLean said.

Courtney Martin, a student studying musical theater, said MacLean brought meaning and depth to the characters of “Boeing Boeing,” making the play more than a fanciful comedy about three silly women.

“You’ll still laugh, but you might even think about what it means to love someone,” she said.

Tickets for “Boeing Boeing” cost $18 for the general public and $15 for students, staff, faculty and senior citizens. Visit the University Theatre Box Office, open one hour before performances, and also from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or order tickets online. Contact the box office at 765-285-8749 or visit the box office’s website for more information.

By Jillian Wilschke