By Faye Gaston
The Tourism Council of Bullock County presented the play, "The Dixie Swim Club" at the Red Door Theatre for four performances on July 25-28, 2019.
The play director, Kathryn Adams Wood, wrote in the printed program, "Countless hours have been spent in rehearsals and preparations to breathe life into the words on the pages of this script.
My sincere gratitude goes to the amazing ladies who have dedicated their summer to becoming the characters you will see on stage and to all the volunteers needed to make the magic happen."
The five amazing ladies and the characters they portrayed are: Scherrie Banks of Midway as Sheree; Alison Beach in the Air Force as Lexie; Beth Beasley of Batesville as Vernadette; Kim Graham of Union Springs as Jeri Neal; and Denise Padgett of Eufaula as Dinah.
The play is about life-time friendships between five Southern women. The friendships began on their college swim team and continues as they meet every August for a weekend in a beach cottage in North Carolina.
The whole play takes place in the living room. Scene one is 22 years after college graduation at age 44, scene two at age 49, scene three at age 54 and the final scene at age 77.
The play script advertises it as a "touching comedy" where five friends give advice with "raucous repartee" as they go through life's challenges with "men, sex, marriage, parenting, divorce and aging."
The play is saturated with talking about sex and drinking cocktails.
There are deaths of two husbands, a mother and a grandfather.
Sheree is a health nut and list maker who organizes activities for the weekends, and serves awful tasting health foods.
Lexie dotes on cosmetic surgeries and flirting with men in general and goes through four divorces.
Dinah is a wealthy lawyer who marries Lexie's first ex-husband. She mixes and serves cocktails of martinis, screwdrivers and vodka the whole play.
Vernadette has injuries from accidents. She has two problem children with one in jail and one in a cult. Her husband left her but comes back. Her house is struck by lightning.
Jeri Neal is scene one is "enormously pregnant" as an artificially inseminated former nun. She does marry later on.
Scene One (age 44) ends with Jeri Neal in labor pains as they all take her to the hospital.
Scene Two (age 49) ends with them going skinny dipping, all being former members of the college swim team.
Scene Three (age 54) ends with a category 2 hurricane coming. Lexie is headed for serious surgery, not cosmetic this time, with Dinah promising to be with her every day.
Scene Four (age 77) has just four friends coming for the last time to this beach cottage because it is to be torn down.
Sheree has rented them a condo for the next year. Three have old-age white hair except for Lexie who has hers dyed blond.
The former nun's son is getting married. Vernadette's husband has died and she has beginning dementia. Lexie has taken her in to live with her. Dinah has died and it was discovered that she had a life-time lease on the cottage and had established a college swimming scholarship. Lexie spoke the eulogy at her funeral and displayed photos of Dinah's travels around the world.
Sheree has had hip surgery. She has Dinah's ashes in a silver martini shaker.
The play ends with the four friends leaving to sprinkle Dinah's ashes in the Atlanta Ocean in front of the cottage, to fulfill Dinah's final wish. The play demonstrates true friendship.
Supporting the acting on stage were: Lisa Norton, Stage Manager; Belinda Barto and Shirley Scott, Back Stage Assistants; Bob Wood, Set Design; Charity Smith, Lighting Design; and Tim Hereford, Sound Engineer.
The Red Door Theatre Committee members are: Xan Morrow, Chair; Philip Duvic, Sarah Hixon, Charlotte Jinks, Charlotte Phillips, Midge Putnam and Charity Smith.