Flying The Beam
This 27 minute documentary recounts the experiences of Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP), Bernice 'Bee' Haydu.
Out of the 25,000 women who applied to the WASP program headed by Jacqueline Cochran, only 1,830 were accepted and 1,074 graduated. As one of only 1074 women to serve in this position during WWII, Bee Haydu discusses the unique demands and prejudices placed upon trainees at a time when women in the military were confined to more traditionally 'female' jobs, such as secretarial work. She describes technical skills they were taught as pilots, and explains in detail the aspects of using four-way radio signals for flight navigation. Bee also recounts the political reasons for the disbanding of the WASP program and the historical events leading to the WASP’s finally earning official veteran status and the subsequent awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal.
This piece was inspired by a text I wrote in another time and place. Its theme - a love lost - is universal, yet highly personal. Aesthetically, it clinches to a gentle world, desolate and wistful. Its proscenium staging intentionally maintains a sense of simplicity, with emphasis placed on character, rather than superfluous cinematic intrusions.
Many thanks to my brilliant actress, sound designer and voice over artists.
Directed by Dominique Elliott
With Heidi Fancher
Sound Design: Kevin Seaman
Choreography: Heidi Fancher
Voice over artists: Sabrina Sterling and Xavier Sibuet
Music: Kevin MacLeod
Written by Dominique Elliott