THEATRE PREVIEW: Passions of Lesbian Lovers in the Military in “100 Planes”

All photos by Steve Rogers. Karen Harrison and Alani Rose Chock.

The year is 1997 and hotshot young pilot Lieutenant Kay McClure dreams of being the first to fly a new hybrid fighter jet.  She begs the legendary Major Anne Clarkson to train her.  Major Clarkson pushes Kay impossibly hard despite the concerns of Monique, Major Clarkson’s lover.  

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Making its westcoast premiere with the Filigree Theatre, “100 Planes” is a bittersweet comic drama that follows three women as ambition, love, and passion collide on a U.S. Air Force Base in Germany.

“I wrote ‘100 Planes’ as I was starting out as a professional playwright,” playwright Lila Rose Kaplan said in a press release. “I was quite conscious of being a young woman in a field dominated by men.  I wanted to investigate what it takes for women, in any field, to balance ambition and love.  Sometimes we see ambitious women portrayed and we often see romantic women, but rarely do we see women who are after both ambition and love.  

“Toni Morrison has a great quote about writing the stories she wants to read.  I take her advice to heart and many of the plays I write are the plays I wish I could see.  I long for stories about women that are more dimensional.  Set against the backdrop of the military, ‘100 Planes’ looks at three women and one man grappling with the same question – is it possible to love what you do and love another person?”

“100 Planes” runs July 18 – August 4 at the Broadwater Black Box in Hollywood Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m.

Behind the Curtain – Meet the cast and crew

Lila Rose Kaplan (Playwright) writes heartfelt fantastical plays that shine light on the stories we don’t tell about women.  Her plays include “The Magician’s Daughter,” “The Villains’ Supper Club,” “Home of the Brave,” “1 2 3 – a play about abandonment and ballroom dancing,” “We All Fall Down,” “Wildflower,” “Bureau of Missing Persons,” and “Biography of a Constellation.” Her musicals for young people include:  “The Light Princess,” “The Pirate Princess” and “The Magic Fish.”  Kaplan’s plays have been presented at: A.R.T., South Coast Rep, Geva Theatre Center, La Jolla Playhouse, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, The Old Vic in London, Camden Fringe Festival in London, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, New Victory Theatre, Second Stage, San Francisco Playhouse, Neighborhood Productions, Know Theatre, Dacha Theatre and Perishable Theatre.  Developmental Readings and Workshops include:  Huntington Theatre, The Kennedy Center, New York Theatre Workshop, Arena Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Trinity Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre and Center Theatre Group. Residencies and Fellowships include:  O’Neill Playwright’s Conference, Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow, Artist-in-Residence UCSB, The Orchard Project, Space on Ryder Farm, New Rep Next Voices, Harvard Business School, the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, Old Vic/New Voices Exchange, and the Shank Fellowship.  Awards include:  TS Eliot US/UK Exchange Old Vic/New Voices Playwright, Wasserstein Award Finalist, New Dramatists Semi-Finalist, Ojai Festival Finalist, O’Neill Playwright’s Conference Finalist and Princess Grace Award in Playwriting Finalist.  Rose holds a B.A. degree with Honors in Playwriting from Brown University and a M.F.A. degree in Playwriting from the University of California San Diego.  Lila Rose Kaplan lives in Somerville, MA with her marine biologist and her curious daughter. The learn more, please visit, www.lilarose.org

Elizabeth V. Newman (Director) is a native New Yorker who has directed and produced critically acclaimed theatre and film in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Austin, TX.  She graduated from Yale University with dual B.A. degrees in History of Art and Theater Studies.  She earned her M.F.A. degree in Film Production at Boston University.  Her stage directing credits include: “Miss Julie” by August Strindberg (Austin); “A Delicate Ship” by Anna Ziegler (Austin Premiere), “Trio” by Sheila Cowley (World Premiere, Austin); “Any Night” by Daniel Arnold and Medina Hahn (Los Angeles Premiere and Austin Premiere – nominated for four B. Iden Payne Awards, including Outstanding Direction of a Drama); “Body of Work” by Christine Hoang, (World Premiere, Austin); “Mocha” by Eleanor Burgess (World Premiere, Austin); “The Amenable Stage” by C. M. Gill (World Premiere, Austin); “The Sniper’s Nest” by Lisa Soland (Austin Premiere); “Goodnight Children Everywhere” by Richard Nelson (London, ON, Canada); “The Park Bench” by Linda Lee Armstrong (World Premiere, London, ON, Canada); “Fragments” by Murray Schisgal (Los Angeles).  Her theatrical producing credits include:  The Austin Premiere of “When We Were Young And Unafraid” by Sarah Treem; the World Premiere of “Mocha” by Eleanor Burgess (Austin); the World Premiere of “Nights of Noir!” by Casey Wilson (Los Angeles); the West Coast Premiere of “Orange Lemon Egg Canary” by Rinne Groff (Los Angeles); the American Premiere of “Clocks and Whistles” by Samuel Adamson (New York) and “Dutchman” by Leroy Jones (New York).  Newman’s film directing credits include the feature film “Child of Light” (post-production) as well as numerous short films.  She is a member of DIRECTOR’S LAB: NORTH, Co-President of the emerging chapter of Women in Film and Television:  Austin and the Founding Artistic Director and Co-Managing Director of The Filigree Theatre.  To learn more, please visit http://elizabethvnewman.com

Stephanie Moore (Producer) serves as the Co-Managing Director of The Filigree Theatre, under which banner she has produced “Any Night” (Los Angeles), “Betrayal,” “A Delicate Ship” (Austin Premiere), “Trio” (World Premiere), “Miss Julie,” “When We Were Young And Unafraid” (Austin Premiere), “Shakespeare in the Dark:  Macbeth” and “Cyrano de Bergerac” (upcoming).  Her feature film producing credits include “Love Labour’s Lost” and “Child of Light.”  She has produced and first assistant directed numerous short films, music videos and web series, including “Hardish Bodies” and “Bye Bye Baby.”  Her passion for producing and working with filmmakers began with her role as a Austin Film Festival ‘Filmmaker Liaison’ for “Winter in the Blood,” “Black or White,” “Beneath the Darkness,” “Hunger” and “Burning Bodhi,” in addition to her work as a ‘Theatre Manager’ for SXSW.  Moore graduated from Texas State University with a degree in English and dual minors in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies and History.  She is the recipient of the Texas State Leadership Institute’s Medal of Hope, the highest non-academic honor at Texas State University.  She is the Co-Treasurer of the emerging chapter of Women in Film and Television:  Austin.

Alani Rose Chock (Lieutenant Kay McClure) has appeared in productions including “Cowgirl Church” with Heartland Theatre Collective, “Sybil” in “[105]” with The Cohen New Works Festival, and “Reba” in “Dry Land” with Permanent Record Theatre (Reba).  Chock has a B.A. degree in Theatre and Dance from The University of Texas with a focus in Acting, Directing and Dramaturgy.

Brittany Flurry (Monique DuPont) is an actor, writer, director and producer based in Austin, TX.  She has her B.F.A. degree in Acting from Texas State University, studied abroad with The Royal Shakespeare Company, and is a graduate of A Working Group (two year Meisner Intensive with Richard Robichaux) and the Institution Theatre.  Flurry was most recently seen in the World Premiere of “The Brutes” and in Katie Bender’s “The Fault,” both through Theatre Synesthesia.  She is currently working on several projects as one of the Co-Founders of Team Teamwork Productions.  In addition to film and stage, she also performs improv, stand up comedy, original songs, and is a tour guide for Nightly Spirits.  Flurry also teaches classes and is an assistant at The Actor’s School in Austin.

Karen Harrison (Major Anne Clarkson) recently returned to Austin after many years on the West Coast.  During her time in Los Angeles, she was active in many aspects of the film and television business and worked in production and development at both Miramax and Paramount on such projects as “Frida”and “Mean Girls.”  A graduate of the University of Texas with a B.F.A. in Acting, her first love, has always been performing.  She has spent time in front of the camera, on stage, and in a voice-over booth.  Film roles include appearances in “Just Like Heaven” and “Thank You for Smoking,”and she can be heard as The Narrator of the Oprah Winfrey Network documentaries “Twins of the Twin Towers”and “The Truth of My Sex.” Her favorite stage roles include Sarah in “Time Stands Still” and theNurse in“Romeo and Juliet.”

Brennan Patrick (David Greene) is a recent graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a degree in Journalism.  Other recent roles in the Austin theatre community include Jean in “Miss Julie” for The Filigree Theatre, Paris in “Romeo and Juliet” for Something for Nothing and Victor in“Dry Land”for Permanent Record Theatre.

To learn more and purchase tickets online, please visitwww.filigreetheatre.com or call 512.496.5208.