‘Boeing Boeing’ Summer Series Empowers Women Through Comedy | Culture & Leisure


Summer Series at the Underground Theater premiered its second play, “Boeing Boeing,” Friday at the Hilberry.

Directed by Wayne State theater majors Justin Bugeja and Luka Collins, the play is set in a 1960s Paris apartment that serves as a haven for three flight attendants, all unknowingly engaged to the same man.

“It’s very exciting because the audience is left on their toes whether or not things go completely out of hand…” Bugeja said.

The story follows Bernard, the fiancé, played by theater major Ethan May, and his friend Robert played by theater major Camden Maccagnone as they attempt to separate the women when they arrive home the same day.

As co-directors, Bugeja and Collins said they wanted the story to be set in its original period to enhance its comedic value.

“We decided we were going to stick with the 1960s French theme that accompanies the script, because it plays out better that way,” Bugeja said. “If we put it in modern times, we felt like we lost the comedy of it, because bringing it to modern times would be slightly problematic.”

Theater major Kayla Smith played Gloria, an American flight attendant. She said the script could be sexist but she felt creative freedom in her role.

“Our directors took this show to center the women because it’s a bit misogynistic at times. They made sure we were empowering ourselves on stage,” Smith said. women’s expense and the two men on the show were very respectful of our boundaries.”

During the rehearsal process, Bugeja said the aim was to ensure that the women of “Boeing Boeing” are celebrated for their skills and talents despite the period when women were less respected.

“They are all flight attendants, which was one of the few jobs women could do well in, so we wanted to showcase women,” Bugeja said. “We wanted to give them more power in the game.”

Actor Allie Farmer plays Berthe, one of the main actresses in the play. She said that although it wasn’t easy to adapt to her role, she had fun doing it.

“It was almost hard to get into the character just because she’s French and so I had to learn a bit of French and do a French accent, so it was a really interesting experience,” Farmer said. “But she’s silly and I really enjoyed playing her.”

Despite the small theater, the show left the audience engaged with the use of seven doors on the set.

Set designer Alex Pordon said the doors were a key feature of the play.

“The first thing I focused on when I got the job was fitting in the many doors that needed to be in the apartment,” Pordon said.

“You never know who is going to come out of which door, which plays into the thrill and also the comedy because of the number of doors used and how quickly they are used,” Bugeja said.

“To incorporate the 1960s decor, the two most important aspects were furniture and wall decor,” Pordon said. “For the furniture, I tried to find very classic pieces with wooden details.”

The unexpected twists and turns that are the lives of the main characters, Bugeja said, the play is to make people laugh.

“It’s a comedy where you come to enjoy the laughs and the ridicule, and you have a good time, especially with the craziness of life,” Bugeja said.

The show will run July 14 at 2 p.m. and July 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Underground at the Hilberry.


Shawntay Lewis is the arts and entertainment editor for The South End. She can be contacted at artsandentertainmenttse@gmail.com.

Cover photo provided by Justin Bugeja.

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