The Night Witches

FULL LENGTH (approximately 80 minutes): The Night Witches, of the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, flew in planes made of canvas and wood, and dropped their bombs on their German enemy every fifteen minutes through the night to keep them from sleeping. They were constantly being shuffled and moved to perform new duties; mechanics would become navigators, navigators would become pilots, and pilots would become...
FULL LENGTH (approximately 80 minutes): The Night Witches, of the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, flew in planes made of canvas and wood, and dropped their bombs on their German enemy every fifteen minutes through the night to keep them from sleeping. They were constantly being shuffled and moved to perform new duties; mechanics would become navigators, navigators would become pilots, and pilots would become commanders. Nina and Vera have just finished their training as navigators and are moments away from their first combat mission. As they fight their nerves, the women around them use different means of bolstering their spirits, some more successfully than others. But when the time comes, ready or not, to the sky they must go. However, tonight is different than any night they’ve faced before; their enemy has employed a new tactic taking them completely by surprise. Using movement, song, and lyrically styled dialogue we follow these brave women through one fateful evening during the war.

*35 minute version available!
*60 minute version available!
*Both of the shorter versions of the play have a smaller cast of 9.
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The Night Witches

Recommended by

  • Mildred Lewis:
    18 May. 2020
    Nina and Vera are very fresh ways of imagining female characters. This couldn't be more relevant because of everything we living through. It is also beautifully and lyrically written.
  • David Elendune:
    15 May. 2020
    Really good - Seeing the conflict from the Russian pov is a rare experience... Add to that the female perspective... And like all the best war stories you have no idea who will survive and who will die.
  • Kate Danley:
    13 May. 2020
    I have been obsessed with the Night Witches ever since I stumbled upon one of their planes in a museum and a small little placard describing their heroism in WWII. I'm thrilled that their story is being told and told so well. There is a poetry and rhythm to this piece that is absolutely captivating. High schools and colleges? This show features age appropriate, powerful roles for an all-female ensemble of eleven women. Let this show take flight on your stage!

Character Information

  • Vera
    late teens- early twenties,
    Female
    Newly trained to be a navigator, formerly worked as a mechanic. Russian.
  • Nina
    late teens- early twenties,
    Female
    Newly trained to be a navigator, formerly worked as a mechanic. Russian.
  • Tatyana
    late teens- early twenties,
    Female
    Captain. Sings. Russian.
  • Serafima
    late teens- early twenties,
    Female
    Captain. Russian.
  • Irina
    late teens- early twenties,
    Female
    Captain. Russian.
  • Alexandra
    late teens- early twenties,
    Female
    Navigator. Russian.
  • Polina
    twenties,
    Female
    Deputy Commander. Russian.
  • Raisa
    late teens- early twenties,
    Female
    Head mechanic. Russian.
  • Zoya
    twenties to thirties,
    Female
    Commander. Russian.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Egyptian Youtheatre
    ,
    2019
  • Workshop
    ,
    Egyptian Youtheatre
    ,
    2019
  • Commission
    ,
    Egyptian Youtheatre
    ,
    2018

Production History

  • Professional
    ,
    Egyptian YouTheatre
    ,
    2020
  • High School
    ,
    Anoka High School
    ,
    2020
  • University
    ,
    University of Utah
    ,
    2020
  • Professional
    ,
    Egyptian Youtheatre
    ,
    2019

Awards

Audience Choice Award
,
Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival
,
2019