Jackie Cochran at 1938 Bendix race

Fastest at Bandera High School, TX Directed by Emily Huber

Jackie Cochran on Play Book cover

SIU, directed by George Ferencz

SIU, directed by George Ferencz

Twin Sabre Jets breaking the sound barrier -Southern Illinois University, director George Ferencz

PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY entry
in the EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL

THE FASTEST WOMAN ALIVE
by Karen Sunde (2010)

The astonishing and glamorous Jackie Cochran soared through life. She was the first woman to break the sound barrier; she battled the military to create WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots), 1,000 women who risked their lives flying more than 75-million miles while testing and ferrying every military aircraft flown in World War II. She was named Business Woman of the Year, became a soul-mate to both Amelia Earhart and Chuck Yeager, and to this day she holds more flight records than any man or woman who ever lived. The Fastest Woman Alive whirls us through her adventurous life in dramatic and touching scenes giving us a picture of this quintessential American who began her life in hopeless circumstances, seized her dream, and achieved more than anyone imagined was possible.


Southern Illinois University

SIU, directed by George Ferencz

Praxis Theatre production of The Fastest Woman Alive, directed by Joel Froomkin, Kellie Johnson as Jackie

Jake Speck, Kellie Johnson, Tom Pavey in New York at Praxis Theater Projects on Theatre Row.

THE FASTEST WOMAN ALIVE

Thrills of a 3-ring circus on a dime--
Jackie Cochran begins as barefoot starving white trash
becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier;
buddies with Amelia Earhart, Chuck Yeager, Ike, LBJ;
founds the WASP and Mercury 13,
captures and holds more flight records than any pilot ever.

Was performed for Medal of Honor WASP
whose story it celebrates, in Sweetwater TX at their reunion

PLAY AND SCREENPLAY

WHAT CRITICS SAY about THE FASTEST WOMAN ALIVE

"A thrilling play...amazing…a marvel…unfolds like a rocket…a wonder it’s not in a Broadway theatre” NYTheatre.com

“...like TOP GUN for women…empowering piece; its effect is undeniable. I left feeling proud to be a woman.” THE STAGE, UK, Edinburgh Festival

“Funny and thrilling… Simultaneous action and jump cuts... directors and casts will find the play foolproof. Because it's a cinematic natural, expect Jackie to zoom around the big screen.” PLAYS INTERNATIONAL, London

“Kaleidoscopic…fascinating true story...streaks forward. … creative theatrical thread running through… clearly displays that Sunde is more than a mere chronicler ... believable and moving" TalkingBroadway.com

“Spunky lady’s tale makes fast takeoff…Sunde has done a wonderful job making her maverick character come to life.” New Jersey Star-Ledger

“Spitfire…wildcat ‘…CALL ME MADAM meets A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN’... the never-ending appeal of won’t-take-no-for-an-answer broads… sweeping across the stage.” American Theater Web

“This is an amazing story … non-stop, near improvisatory … moving at an appropriately Cochran-like pace” Montclair Times

“Gripping…fascinating…riveting script makes this a ‘not to be missed’ dramatic experience.” Irvington Herald

“Imaginatively constructed…unwavering desire to soar, boistrous, daring… four supporting actors play a whole nation!” BACKSTAGE


ABOUT JACKIE --

The astonishing and glamorous Jackie Cochran soared through life. She was the first woman to break the sound barrier; she battled the military to create WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots), 1,000 women who risked their lives flying more than 75-million miles while testing and ferrying every military aircraft flown in World War II. She was named Business Woman of the Year, became a soul-mate to both Amelia Earhart and Chuck Yeager, and to this day she holds more flight records than any man or woman who ever lived. The Fastest Woman Alive whirls us through her adventurous life in dramatic and touching scenes giving us a picture of this quintessential American who began her life in hopeless circumstances, seized her dream, and achieved more than anyone imagined was possible.


SAMPLE from the SCREENPLAY: THE FASTEST WOMAN ALIVE


EXT. SKY - DAY

A clear blue sky - empty of all but a few clouds. All is
quiet. Then...!

EXPLOSION OF JET ENGINES: Two silver jets blast upward
cutting through sky.

INT. SABRE JET F-86 - DAY

JACKIE COCHRAN, ravishing blonde, 45, eyes on sky, ecstatic.
Radio buzz-
YEAGER (RADIO VO)
Tell the tower you’re going for it, Jackie.

JACKIE
Why worry ‘em? 25,000 feet.

EXT. TWO F-86 JETS - DAY

Jets climbing together at incredible speed.

EXT./​INT. SABRE JETS - DAY

CHUCK YEAGER, 30, easy grin after years of combat, wing on
wing with Jackie.

JACKIE (RADIO VO)
Don’t fly so close to me, Yeager!

YEAGER
Gotta see your hands on the controls,
Jackie.

INT. SABRE JET - DAY

Jackie opens throttle, surging higher. Altimeter: 37,000
feet. She looks at sun but SEES A GRASS FIRE.

INT. EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, CONTROL TOWER - DAY

US Air Force and Canadair MONITORS eagerly scan dials and
sky.

CHART reads: “May 19, 1953; Jackie Cochran, pilot, test
flight #3, Sabrejet F-86. Maj Charles “Chuck” Yeager flying
chase. Take-off 8:05 AM.

MONITOR
She’s still climbing. Which test is
this?

EXT./​INT. SABRE JETS - DAY/​NIGHT

Jackie thrilled, seeing daylight fade to stars. Altimeter:
47,000.
JACKIE (VO)
My God. Stars!

They are in clear space night. Millions of stars.

INT or EXT of either jet
.
YEAGER (VO)
Most guys would look back to earth.
Now, Jackie...

JACKIE (VO)
I’m ready, Yeager.

YEAGER (VO)
...a pack of mighty men lost nerve
half-way down. There’s no skin off no
lady who does.

JACKIE (VO)
I’m diving now. You can sit up here
working your jaw, or you can come
along.

Jackie splits an S curve, dives full-throttle straight down.
Blood rush to her head.

YEAGER (VO)
Damn, woman!

Yeager peals off to “chase.” Jackie’s plane shaking. She holds
tight.

YEAGER (VO)
Speed?!

JACKIE (VO)
Mach .(point) 96... Shit.

YEAGER (VO)
Your right wing’s dropping. Talk to me.

Jackie’s wing twisting, about to snap off; the other starts
dipping.
JACKIE (VO)
I can’t seem to... .97

YEAGER (VO)
Stay conscious. Jackie?

JACKIE (VO)
Don’t know if I can... .98.

Violent shaking. Jackie works controls; they do not respond.

JACKIE (VO CONT)
Nothing works. We’re about to
explode. .99. Ahhh...! (Yell echoes on into...)

VO CHEERS of crowd.
[as Jackie becomes 1st female to break the sound barrier]
___________________________________________________


The Fastest Woman Alive - Bandera High School, TX -Director Emily Huber

Cast of The Fastest Woman Alive - Steele High School, Shertz, TX

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