Theatre Collective wraps stories of women in ‘what they wore’

Theatre Collective wraps stories of women in ‘what they wore’

Whether it’s your first Brownie scout uniform, your beloved mother’s electric blue bathrobe or the persistent, embarrassing, lifelong pursuit of the perfect bra, clothes may not make the woman, but they certainly make the memories.

That’s one of the lessons of “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” a collection of interconnected monologues by Nora and Delia Ephron. You know the sibling writers from movies like “You’ve Got Mail” and Nora from the screenplays for “Silkwood,” “When Harry Met Sally…” and “Sleepless in Seattle.”

“Working on this show has been a dream, as I unashamedly and wholeheartedly idolize Nora Ephron,” says Juliette Robinson, who is directing “Love, Loss and What I Wore” for the Theatre Collective of Northwest Arkansas, its second full-length play in the second slot of the company’s second season. “I love how this show gets us talking about our memories around clothing, which leads to wonderful conversations about love, life and heartbreak.”

“This is the juiciest kind of material for an actor — thick, luscious monologues, and fun group scenes that require precision teamwork,” says Jules Taylor, a Fayetteville teaching artist who joins TCNWA for the first time. “There are some insanely hilarious moments, but there are also some really heavy ones, too. This script is full of every emotion. It is very honest and authentic to a woman’s journey, but it’s not just for women.”

The scenes flow through the author’s alter-ego, Gingy, portrayed by Kerry Beebe of Fayetteville. Last seen in the Arkansas Public Theatre production of “The Shadow Box,” Beebe says she “wanted to laugh,” but admits audiences will also cry “with wonderful women who will be your best friends at the end of the evening.”

Robinson agrees with that assessment of her cast and crew.

“They have gone out on a limb with me and grabbed this show by the horns. Any time I say, ‘Wait, what if we…,’ you know a wild idea is brewing. And they never blanch. They are fearless.

“Traditionally, the show is performed in a reader’s theater style, with the actors sitting with their scripts at music stands,” Robinson explains. “I wanted to shake things up by having my actors perform the play like a typical stage play, with blocking and fully memorized lines.

“This was a massive challenge for me and the actors — but it’s paying off,” she says proudly. “The show is massively funny and touching, and the underlying narrative I used to connect the scenes makes this production one of a kind. This version of the show is our own, and you won’t see anything else like it.”

“What struck me most upon experiencing this play for the first time is the abundance of universal experiences we all share,” says Kate Capdeville, part of the five-woman ensemble. “My hope is that it ignites meaningful conversations among the audience, prompting them to connect with others and delve into the significance of clothing in our lives. Despite our differences, clothing serves as a common thread that binds us all, offering a platform for connection and understanding.”

“I love this show because I love stories about women exploring their identity and relationship to themselves and with others,” adds cast member Lauren Levine. “Stories about women struggling with the pressure to conform while also defining who they are.”

“Going in to the show, I think the audience just needs to be ready to be flooded with all the feels,” says actress Amber Brown. “And leaving the show, I hope they’ll tell someone they love a story of their own.”

“I hope the audience leaves thinking of their own stories — and that they share them,” Robinson concludes. “Share a pot of tea with someone you love and talk. And then keep talking and connecting, laughing and crying. We need each other.”



Theatre Collective:

‘Love, Loss and What I Wore’

WHEN — 7 p.m. May 3-4; 2 p.m. May 5

WHERE — The Medium, 214 S. Main St. in Springdale

COST — $25-$35


Categories: Cover Story