Skye Koyote (Eddie), Amber Heard (Alice), Norma Jean (Winter Koyote), Sierra Compton (Virginia Hascall), Kiana Chang (Rosalie), and Denzy James (Carol) are ready to present a stirring story. (Sara Raessi/Grade 12 photo)

Skye Koyote (Eddie), Amber Heard (Alice), Norma Jean (Winter Koyote), Sierra Compton (Virginia Hascall), Kiana Chang (Rosalie), and Denzy James (Carol) are ready to present a stirring story. (Sara Raessi/Grade 12 photo)

Female pilots featured in ambitious Duncan school production, ‘Decision Height’

Young actors take on story of bravery and sacrifice

Young actors at Queen Margaret’s School are tackling an ambitious portrayal of female pilots during the Second World War who dared to leave their families and challenge women’s societal roles to write their own story from the cockpit of a plane.

Written by Meredith Dayna Levy, Decision Height, follows Virginia Hascall (Sierra Compton) as she leaves behind her fiancé and family to become a woman airforce service pilot (WASP) and do her part in defeating the Axis powers in the Second World War.

Virginia’s journey to earn her wings means triumph and tragedy, culminating in a decision that will alter her life and those of her sisters in flight suits: Eddie (Skye Koyote), Mildred (Alex Berry-Dillen), Norma Jean (Winter Koyote), Carol (Denzy James), Alice (Amber Heard), Rosalie (Kiana Chang), Ziggie (Olivia Kelly), and Mrs. Deaton (Kemre Rippon).

For director Martina Blake it was important the actors understand the social context these female pilots lived through in 1940s United States, the obstacles they faced, and the sacrifices they would have made to attain their dreams of flight. This meant providing the actors with experiential learning opportunities to engage their sensory awareness and create deeper meaningful connections with their characters.

“Our students are passionate about understanding the psychological strength required of air force pilots,” explains Blake. “We arranged for a tour and information session with veteran pilots at the BC Museum of Aviation in Victoria, and invited Snowbird pilot, Captain Ian James of the Canadian Air Force, to one of our rehearsals. Our students are ready to portray these incredible female characters with depth, empathy, and realism. You do not want to miss this production!”

The curtain rises on Decision Height Nov. 29 and the show continues on Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. both nights, with a matinee performance on Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. in the Queen Margaret’s School Fine Arts Hall.

Tickets are $10 in advance, or at the door (if available). Contact 250-746-4185 or email reception@qms.bc.ca.

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