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A Staged Reading 




With the holidays over and the winter stretching ahead, Vermont Theatre Company will counter the seasonal doldrums with two performances of a reading of the comedy The Dixie Swim Club.  The play’s authors – Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten – were writers for the popular television series Golden Girls, and their talent for writing vibrant characters and dialogue that is by turns comedic and poignant is clearly evident in the voices of Sheree, Lexie, Jeri-Neal, Dinah, and Vernadette.  Premiering in 2007, The Dixie Swim Club tells the story of five Southern women who formed a bond as members of a champion collegiate swim team, and who have met every August at a cottage on the Outer Banks to share their lives’ successes, disasters, and challenges over the course of nearly five decades.  The play focuses on four of these weekends, when the women are 44, 49, 50-something, and 70-something.  Although the years change them, and occasionally set them at odds, their friendship and care for each other remains constant. 


The cast is composed of five actresses from the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts: Sue Davis of Northampton, Louise Krieger of Sunderland, Dawn Mayo of Leyden, Julie Richardson of South Deerfield, and Sue Tracy of Ashfield.  The original cast included Jackie Walsh in place of Ms. Mayo.  Ms. Walsh is credited with organizing several readings of The Dixie Swim Club over the past year to benefit different local community theater groups.  The cast members agree that, in addition to helping out theater colleagues, they have enjoyed the experience of reading the play so many times.  Ms. Krieger notes, “We learn new things about our characters, and ourselves, with each reading.” 


The play-reading format has many advantages in its spare requirements for memorization, staging, costuming, and properties.  Conversely, it asks a bit more of the audience members who do not have the benefits of the visual cues of costuming or staging.  With fewer visual and physical cues, the format focuses more attention on the actors’ interpretation of their character’s development and relationships.  This reading has the added luxury of having two “tech” crew members:  John Iverson lighting the stage and Chip Roughton providing sound effects.


Performances will be on

Saturday, January 23, at 7:30 p.m. and

Sunday, January 24 at 3 p.m.

 Tickets are $10

Reservations can be made by calling the VTC box office at 802-258-1344

 or online at


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