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Play probes female bonds

Published (Volume 76, No. 29)

The highly acclaimed and controversial production of ‘Five Women Wearing the Same Dress’ comes to stage as the final play of the semester by the Vanguard Theatre.

The play will be in the lab theater, located in Fine Arts 127, at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1.

The production is the brainchild of Alan Ball, the Oscar-winning writer of ‘American Beauty’ and creator of HBO’s ‘Six Feet Under.’ The production takes place at a flamboyant wedding reception at a Knoxville, Tenn. estate.

Five reluctant, identically dressed bridesmaids hide out in an upstairs bedroom, each with her own reasons to avoid the events taking place in the rooms below.

As the afternoon wears on, these five very different women discover a common bond that they all have in this “ wonderfully entertaining play…” as described by the New York Post.

The play will be preformed in the lab theater room because it provides a more intimate performance space with a small audience capacity.

The play contains adult language and adult content and is not be suitable for high school age and younger audiences.

“This is a wonderfully entertaining and enjoyable play. Its mature language and situations, however, require a mature, open mind,” said director Ken Zimmerman.

The topics dealt with in the play include abortion, childhood sexual abuse, anorexia, adultery and discrimination against lesbians.

“The cast, five women and one man, has been more than cooperative and hard-working. And from the looks of things their hard work is going to pay off,” said Zimmerman.

The cast consists of Jennifer Baumgardner of McKenzie, Rebecca Byrer of Trenton, Sarah Diviney of Greenfield, Stephanie Dowell of Nashville, Jennifer Horbelt of Memphis and Chris James of Union City.

Stage managers are Adrien Eubank of Crossville and Megan Gallup of Erin.

Tickets will be sold at the box office one hour before the performance begins. All tickets for the production are $5. Due to the small venue, space will be limited for the play.

For more information about this play or Vanguard Theatre, check out their Web site at www.utm.edu/departments/finearts/vang.