New Jersey Stage 2015 - Issue 10 - Page 10

told them, ‘No matter what your personality is, you’ve been trained. You’re highly trained professionals and that training has to come through in everything you’re doing. Even though you might be scared to death, the training has to show.’” That training comes through when a crew hears a boom during a flight. The sound tells them something is obviously wrong, but they don’t know if it’s a bomb, a door blowing off, or the loss of an engine. Incidents in the play range from bulkheads rupturing (causing the loss of the vertical fin and all hydraulics) to a simple piece of tape left over the static ports when the maintenance crew last washed the plane (resulting in the failure of crucial flight instruments to work properly). During rehearsals, the cast was continuously pushed a little farther and farther into the ties of the situations. One of the most intense moments of the play deals with United Airlines Flight 232. At one point, the air traffic controller mentions “there is a four-lane highway you can look at.” Paprzycki asked the actors what that means. The reply was, “It means you’re going to kill at least 100 innocent people on the ground.” Paprzycki said, “Yeah, think about just how devastating that is.” When the actors redid the scene again, their faces showed the realization of being told they could land on a highway that is probably packed with cars and innocent people who will be killed. Paprzycki told the actors, “When you start hearing these things we have to see the reaction of you the person — through the training — because we know that the audience is thinking, ‘What if my daughter and my three grandchildren are in a car on that highway?’” 2015 - ISSUE 10 10