On stage at USCB Center for the Arts, ladies dish about ‘Love, Loss and What I Wore’

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“Love, Loss, and What I Wore” is a comedy about women’s clothing as metaphors of their lives. From the unfortunate prom dress and the perfect wedding dress to the tyranny of the purse and shopping for a bra, the play, “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” is a scrapbook of vignettes about women, their relationships to their clothing, and the memories they trigger.

Back Row, from left: Edna Crews, Angie Brafford, Jennifer Joyce, Anne Helm, Chanel Gish, Heather Szedner, Suzanne Larson, Shawn Sproatt. Middle Row: Brittney Hiller, Andrea Drake, Jessica Lendi Dickson. Front Row: Megan Blackmon, Kay Owen, Tracy Smith. Photo by John Mattson at John Arthur Photography.
Back Row, from left: Edna Crews, Angie Brafford, Jennifer Joyce, Anne Helm, Chanel Gish, Heather Szedner, Suzanne Larson, Shawn Sproatt. Middle Row: Brittney Hiller, Andrea Drake, Jessica Lendi Dickson. Front Row: Megan Blackmon, Kay Owen, Tracy Smith. Photo by John Mattson at John Arthur Photography.

Women have all had our most-and-least favorite outfits at different points in our lives, and sometimes even we don’t know why we “loved” one article of clothing and “hated” another, or why we remember one piece above all others — we just do.  And so it is with the characters in this Beaufort Theatre production at USCB Center for the Arts on March 8, 9 and 10.  Written by Nora and Delia Ephron and based on a book by the same name by Ilene Beckerman, “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” are stories told in a series of comedic but sometimes touching monologues and short group pieces.

Gail Westerfield directs innovative production

In its original format, the play is presented as a staged reading with five stools, five music stands holding five scripts and five actors playing multiple roles. Under Gail Westerfield’s creative direction, the expanded cast does not read from scripts but rather, performs in a full-scale stage production.  “A script as dynamic as this one just begged me to ‘put it on its feet,’” Gail explained, “and let the actors dance and throw clothes around and pop up where you might not expect them to.”

Rich Mixture of ages and talent to match material

The beauty of the material is that the play can be cast with women of any age in any of the parts due to the timelessness of the stories. To Gail, it is the enjoyment of watching the experienced and the newer actors interact and discover the depth of their talents.  “If I do my job right, you won’t be able to tell the veterans from the newbies.”

CODA to benefit

Both Gail and her stage manager, Susan DeFoe, have been associated with Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse (CODA) for many years.  “Although CODA is not exclusive to women,” notes Susan, “we are deeply invested in a woman’s right to speak truthfully and openly, without shame, and this play gives voice to the things we think about only to ourselves and that is very liberating as well as very funny!”  CODA will receive a $1 donation for every ticket sold during the play’s three-day run.

CAPA will get a boost

Also benefiting during the play’s run will be the Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA).  Theatre attendees are asked to bring one or more articles of gently worn women’s clothing to donate to the CAPA Closet Thrift Store.  “The theme of the play was just too good a fit to not partner with them,” said Bonnie Hargrove, Executive Director for USCB Center for the Arts.  “It will add another dimension of enjoyment for our attendees and, we hope, collect a lot of great clothing for the CAPA Closet.”

Performances are on the USCB Campus at 801 Carteret St. on Friday and Saturday nights, March 8 and 9, at 7:30 p.m., and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 10. Reserve seats are $20; general admission for adults, $18; and seniors $15. Tickets in advance call 843-521-4145 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. Box Office opens one hour prior to performance for tickets at the door.