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Catawba College Theatre Arts Presents "Uncommon Women and Others"

October 30, 2006

Category: Events, Students, Theatre Arts


Theatre-goers will be treated to a coming-of-age play if they attend a performance of "Uncommon Women and Others" running November 8 through 18 in Florence Busby Corriher Theatre on the campus of Catawba College.

The show director, Catawba College Theatre Arts Professor Dayna Anderson, hopes that the production will prompt questions about of what has happened to the uncommon women, those first-wave feminists whose activism changed the world and the workplace.

"I suspect that if you look around, you will find them," Anderson notes. "They are your mothers, your neighbors, your boss and your doctors or lawyers, and your friends. And each has a personal journey to share."

In asking questions of uncommon women, whom Anderson describes as "the highly-educated, professionally groomed, and overachievers," their simple responses will reveal great insights which help their successors "develop understanding and power" that can "change the world."

The play, an early work of internationally renowned playwright Wendy Wasserstein, chronicles the expectations and anxieties of a group of friends as each enters the real world following their graduation from a prestigious women's college. Some contend it mirrors Wasserstein's own experience as a struggling young professional.

It has had the exclusive honor of winning awards of excellence in multi-performance media: stage, television, film, and documentary. First performed on the Catawba College in 1980, the play is described as funny, perceptive, revelatory, and amazingly current. It is presented as a tribute to Wasserstein who recently died at age 55 and at the peak of her creativity.

Each night's performance of "Uncommon Women and Others" will feature different cast members who were randomly selected by rolls of the die. This assures that each performance is unique, Anderson explains.

Cast members include freshman Eleanor Withrow of Abingdon, Md., as Muffet; junior Betsy Foster of Baltimore, Md., as Muffet and Mrs. Plumm; freshman Kali McCullough of Columbia, Tenn., as Mrs. Plumm; freshman Amber Hughes of Seattle, Wash., and junior Jessica Taige of Wauwatosa, Wis., as Samantha; juniors Brianna Smith of Austin, Texas, and Emily Wonderly of Hicksville, Ohio, as Rita; freshmen Emma Buckley of Hartland, Wis., and Vanessa Malanga of Rutherfordton as Leilah; sophomore Katharine Goforth of Charlotte as Kate; senior Lisa Ponce of Tolland, Conn., as Kate Quin and Carter; freshman Meggie Bumgarner of Newton as Carter; sophomore Jennifer Short of Jersey City, N.J., and freshman Caitlin Becka of Wilmington as Holly Kaplan; freshmen Amanda Lederer of Bradenton, Fla., and Caitlin Springs of Santa Clara, Calif., as Susie Friend; and sophomores Jordan Hunt of Hartford, Wis., and Justin Lewis of Knoxville, Tenn., as Shifter 1 and 2, respectively.

Crew members include junior Tiffany Hogan of High Point as assistant director; sophomore Justin Duncan of Raeford as stage manager; junior Devon Currie of Jamestown, assistant stage manager; and sophomore Aaron Ganas of Milwaukee, Wis., voiceover.

The "Ivy-League" chorus tunes in the production were created by Catawba College Adjunct Instructor in musical theatre voice, Delores Simonel, while senior Guiseppe Ritorto of Greensboro penned other original songs. Pop music from the 1972-1978 time period is also used to create a musical soundscape.

Performances of "Uncommon Women and Others" are scheduled at 6:55 p.m. Nov. 8, 14 and 15; at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9-11 and Nov. 16-18; and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 12 in Florence Busby Corriher Theatre on campus. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens and group rates are available. Adult situations and sexual language make this play unsuitable for children. For more details, contact the Catawba College Box Office at (704) 637-4481.