BOONE—The Appalachian Women’s Theatre Troupe (AWTT) at Appalachian State University presents the 1993 comedy “Five Women Wearing The Same Dress” by playwright Alan Ball about five bridesmaids hiding in a bedroom during a wedding reception.
Three performances will be presented: 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6. The production will be staged in the Great Hall of the Living Learning Center (LLC), located on campus at 301 Bodenheimer Dr. Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for adults and may be purchased Monday through Friday in Plemmons Student Union from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or in the lobby of the LLC Great Hall one hour prior to each performance. For more information, visit Appalachian Women’s Theatre Troupe on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
First published and performed in 1993 at the Manhattan Class Company in New York City, “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress” explores themes ranging from insecurity and jealousy to lust and pride. The play’s setting is the home of a bride in Knoxville, Tennessee, during the newly married couple’s overdone wedding reception. The five bridesmaids referenced in the title of the play have found refuge in a? room above the fray and realize, among other things, that despite their differences, they have more in common with each other than any of them do with the bride.
Critics favorably reviewed this comedy as “a wonderfully entertaining play…” in The New York Post, while the New York Daily News opined that, “‘Five Women Wearing the Same Dress’ is a fresh-as-a-daisy comedy, funny as can be….” Theatre Week stated that, “Ball has the comic writer’s requisite talent for dialogue that ricochets snappily around the stage.”
Appalachian’s Women’s Theatre Troupe was founded only two years ago but has blossomed into a successful student interest group and campus arts organization. “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress” is the troupe’s fourth production, following the highly acclaimed spring 2015 show “Decision Height.” In order to encourage students in the arts, the troupe gives opportunities to first-year and second-year students, including non-theatre majors. Effective in spring 2016, the organization will use the new name Women and Inclusive Theatre Troupe in order to promote a more diverse environment for theater.
Karen Sabo, executive director of the Women’s Fund of the High Country, is guest director for this production. She explained, “‘Five Women Wearing the Same Dress’ is, I think, usually performed as a broad Southern frothy comedy, but we’re not interpreting it like that. There are some really serious subjects that are broached, so we’re embracing the play as written, which means it is pretty serious but has a lot of very funny parts.”
Sabo said that many of the characters and situations will be familiar to the audience, “but we are taking an approach of not just presenting these unexamined, but rather taking advantage of the best that theatre has to offer.” She explained that the reason the show is called “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress” is because, “They’re all bridesmaids in the wedding of a woman none of them really like, so they’re all wearing this ‘uniform of femininity.’”
“They all take a look at how the ideas out there about what it means for each of them to be women can sometimes hold them back and restrict them from being the humans they really are,” Sabo said. “I guess it is a feminist play, but it really is a humanist play. That’s what the Women’s Theatre Troupe does – look at expanded descriptions of what it is to be human, and usually in a really engaging, entertaining way.”
Appalachian students featured in the show are Olivia Fitts, Alexxa Guerrero, Mary Elizabeth Myrick, Emma Siplon and Jenna Tonsor.
About the Living Learning Center
The Living Learning Center (LLC) is located on campus at 301 Bodenheimer Dr. Parking is available in lots near the building, as well as in Rivers Street and College Street parking decks and the Raley/Peacock parking lot off Rivers Street.
About the Women’s Theatre Troupe
The Appalachian Women’s Theatre Troupe is a student-run performing arts organization designed to promote theatre experience, to develop opportunities for women, and to advocate women’s rights in productions at Appalachian State University and throughout the High Country region. The group sponsors student-directed shows, programs and social events, such as group trips to see live productions at other theatres, bi-weekly meetings, and schedules projects and workshops of interest to the membership.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.