“5 Women in the Same Dress” about tribulations of womanhood

Rachel Shaw (right) as Tricia, comforts Meredeth as played by Faith Stemmler during the rehearsal of "5 Women in the Same Dress". The play opens March 23. Photo/April Kabrick

By April Kabrick
Staff Reporter
During rehearsal for” 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress”, the characters came alive.  Picture being in the same room with five very different southern women, sorting through the trials and tribulations each one has experienced.  These five bridesmaids are an emotional rollercoaster, each with her own individual personality and personal views.

Karen Echman as Mindy and Rachel Shaw as Tricia. Photo/April Kabrick

The play was written by Alan Ball in 1993 and takes place in an upper class society in Knoxville, Tenn.  To help the audience relate, the datase hmade moreore current, to a 2004 time frame.  Andrea Castle Southard is the director and this is the first time this play will be performed here at Park.

“These women that may or may not have know each other previously have found themselves brought together,” ays Southard. “In the end, they find an inadvertent bonding among themselves.”

This is a play designed to show these young womens’ journey, they discover things about each other while learning about themselves as well.
Karen Echman, sophomore in English writing, plays Mindy, the groom’s lesbian sister and bridesmaid.  She is very much the wisecracker, very truthful and blunt.  She speaks her mind randomly and adds a flair for the lighthearted, funny side of the story.
Faith Stemmler, junior in biology, plays Meridith Merlot, bridesmaid and younger sister of Tracy, the bride.  Her bedroom is home to much of the groups banter.  Meridith is 22 years old and has just graduated from college.  She is a gossip girl and wants to be rebellious but really doesn’t have it in her.  It is uncovered in the story line that she has been molested b the never seen Tommy Valentine.
Amanda Tyler, freshman in journalism, plays Georgeanne, a very bitter married woman who is also a bridesmaid.  She cannot stand her husband and is very depressed.  She reveals her affair with a man that had gotten her pregnant ten years ago and then left her.  This happens to be the same Tommy Valentine.
Miranda Riley, freshman in social work, plays Frances, a 21 year old relative of the bride who is very naive and very much a Christian.  She is not from a wealthy family.  In a way this is her coming out party, she learns a lot about herself and finds herself forever changed after this day.
Rachel Shaw, junior in accounting, plays a bridesmaid named Tricia.  She is a very strong character, all of the other ladies tell her their problems. She is supportive and helpful while she herself is holding back all of her emotions.
“Tricia is more than just the line she is saying,” says Shaw.
She eventually finds Tripp, an usher at the wedding played by Matt Shaw, junior in English writing.  He has been chasing after her throughout the play with genuine interest.  In the end she opens up to him and lays some of her demons to rest.
5 Women Wearing the Same Dress opens on March 23rd at 7:30 p.m. in the David Theatre in Alumni Hall.  Another play will be going on right after 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress called Bachelor Holiday.  Both plays are written by Alan Ball.  Bachelor Holiday is directed by Janie Peak.  Stuart Brewer, sophomore in broadcasting plays Ford. Josh Jackson, junior in English writing, plays Norris, and Robert W. Noland, freshman in biology, plays Hunter.  All three of these characters live in the same apartment in New York City.  They end up facing friction amongst themselves and end on a different note than 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress.
You can catch a night of short plays by Alan Ball at 7:30 p.m. on March 23, 24, 30, and 31.  You can also catch them at 2 p.m. on April 1.  Tickets are available at the door, and are free for Park students. Faculty and staff tickets are $8. Seniors, children, and students with IDs are $5. The general public can purchase tickets for $10 each.
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The Park University Stylus is an award-winning student newspaper based in Parkville, Missouri.
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