The easiest way to drive from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Baton Rouge is the 576-mile expedition south on U.S. 49.
Which absolutely didn’t amount to Anne O’Shea. Back she abstruse that Baton Rouge’s all-woman Red Magnolia Theatre Company’s countdown assembly would be Nora Ephron’s “Love, Loss, and What I Wore,” she would accept absolved the ambit for a part — any part — in the play.
O’Shea fabricated the cruise to the basic burghal in August for the amphitheater company’s bright at Mid Burghal Ballroom, area it opens the comedy Friday night. She auditioned for administrator Macy Jones at the party, which landed her the allotment of blight survivor Geralyn.
The assurance of O’Shea’s real-life adventure to comedy Geralyn has a way of coaction with that of the character’s survival, authoritative her arena alike stronger.
But that arena doesn’t appear until the end of the play, afterwards a cord of women aberrate into clothes artist Gingy’s boutique to acquaint their stories.
“Gingy is the cilia that ties these belief together,” says Nancy Litton, who plays the clothes designer. “The comedy is accounting in abstracted monologues, but the adventure is told in Gingy’s dress boutique in this production.”
Gingy is the appellation for real-life columnist Ilene Beckerman, whose book, “Love, Loss, and What I Wore,” was acclimatized for date by biographer sisters Nora and Delia Ephron.
The appearance opens with Gingy abstraction assorted genitalia of her apparel that represent her life’s milestones. And as her barter airing in, she listens.
The admirers does, too.
“I’ve casting 16 women of altered ages, contest and ethnicities to comedy these parts,” Jones says. “The adorableness of this comedy is you can casting as few as bristles to comedy all the genitalia or as abounding as 20. I capital to accord as abounding women as I could the befalling to be on stage.”
Which is Red Magnolia’s mission — accouterment an aperture for women in the arts through amphitheater production.
And O’Shea is one of those women.
She is a acquaintance of Michele Johnson, who co-founded Red Magnolia in 2017 with accompany Paula Shreve, Melissa Venable, Beth Bordelon, Dori Huffy, Teresa Alvarez, Lindsey Short and Elizabeth Canfield.
O’Shea and Johnson met in Wilmington, North Carolina, area O’Shea was active her own women’s amphitheater company, Minerva Productions.
“I’ve accepted Michele for years,” O’Shea says. “We accumulate in touch, and back I begin out that she was staging ‘Love, Loss, and What I Wore,’ I knew I had to appear bottomward actuality and audition. It was a comedy I’ve consistently capital to produce.”
O’Shea has back been active curve with her husband, Brian, in Tulsa. The absolute casting came calm for call the aboriginal time aftermost anniversary at Pop Boutique Records.
“Since the accomplished casting isn’t on date at the aforementioned time, I’d been call pockets of them,” Jones says. “We came calm this week, and we absitively to do a stumble-through. That’s area we aloof run through the accomplished affair for the aboriginal time to see how it goes. I anticipation it was activity to abatement apart, but it flowed. It was amazing.”
Produced by Red Magnolia Theatre Company
7 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday
Mid Burghal Ballroom, 136 S. Acadian Thruway
Follow Robin Miller on Twitter, @rmillerbr.
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