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‘Women of Lockerbie’ spills a tale of tragedy on SHU’s stage

[caption id="attachment_13298" align="alignnone" width="300"]Courtesy of Brittany Rockenfeller Courtesy of Brittany Rockenfeller[/caption] Are you tired of spending monotonous winter days watching Netflix? Do you crave the vibrancy and personal touch of live theatre? If so, the Seton Hall Theatre’s debut performance of “The Women of Lockerbie”, directed by Molly Margaret Johnson and performed in Theatre-in-the-Round on Feb. 18 through 20 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 21 at 2 p.m will fulfill your appetite. This show follows the story of a mother from New Jersey who travels to Lockerbie, Scotland, hoping to find the remains of her son who passed away in the crash of Pan Am 103. There, she meets the titular women of Lockerbie. The story is one of love that unfolds alongside dramatic and powerful ideas and scenes. Samantha Scelzo, a senior theater performance and media studies double major, plays one of the lead roles of the show, Olive Allison. Scelzo describes her character as strong, level-headed, and determined to do what is right, no matter what. She said she identifies with her personality and is inspired by her courage. Scelzo, who has been acting for the past four years at SHU as well as two years in high school, found difficulty in embodying Olive’s struggle. “Accurately portraying her strength has been difficult for me,” she said as the character endures significant loss in the story. “I struggled with finding something in my own life that closely relates to what my character went through,” she said. “I look up to my character in many ways, but the one thing that affects me the most is her selflessness, even in the face of her own tragedy.” Elise Pfail, a senior vocal performance major, said she plays Madeline Livingston, the New Jersey woman who loses her son in the plane crash. “Madeline is a mother broken by unspeakable tragedy, her mental and emotional stability dance between the veil of sanity and madness,” Pfail said. She added that she has never taken on a role which has such heavy scars and rich emotion. The play, itself, will resonate with audience members. “When something as tragic and evil strikes a community, it is the job of that community to rebuild, fortify hope, and help others heal. This story is about real people and the different ways we cope with tragedy. Everyone can find something to relate to,” Scelzo said. With opening night in the very near future, she said she hopes this show will make people more aware of the different ways people grieve and make them see that there is no right way to do so. “There are so many ranges of grief portrayed in this show that anyone will be able to relate to at least one character and their story. I also hope the audience will be able to sympathize with victims of tragedy a little bit more, and better understand that everyone has a story to tell,” she added. Sarah Auerbach can be reached at


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