VSU Theatre, Dance Season Kicks off with 'Love, Loss, and What IWore'

September 5, 2012

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Theatre, Dance Season Kicks off with 'Love, Loss, and What IWore'

VALDOSTA -- The first production of Valdosta State University’s 2012-2013 theatre and dance season is a chamber play of monologues and ensemble pieces focusing on women, clothes, and memories. A talented cast of seven women will address “all the important subjects -- mothers, prom dresses, mothers, buying bras, mothers, hating purses, and why we only wear black.”

Opening tonight, “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” is an intimate collection of stories by sisters Nora and Delia Ephron, based on the best-selling book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman, as well as recollections of the Ephrons’ friends. It opened to rave reviews on Oct. 1, 2009, at New York’s Westside Theatre, closing after 1,013 performances. It won the 2010 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience and the 2010 Broadway.com Award for Favorite New Off-Broadway Play. The show has been produced on six continents and in more than eight countries.

H. Duke Guthrie, director and professor in VSU’s Theatre and Dance Area, noted that it is rare for the university to open a theatre production so early in the semester. He held auditions and cast the play during the late spring, telling the actors to return to campus in the fall with their lines memorized. He described that decision as putting “the cart before the horse, but how it needed to be.”

“This has been a rather unique process,” he said. “We knew we had to open earlier in the semester than the first play traditionally opens due to the very busy College of the Arts programming calendar.”

When rehearsals started in mid-August, Guthrie noted that, even though the actors already knew their parts, there was still a lot of work to do before opening night -- characters had not been fleshed out, vocal style choices had not been finalized, and the women had not had the opportunity to work with their scene partners. Since the actors do not move, that saved him some time.

“… given all that, it has been exciting,” he added.

Rehearsals began immediately with the start of the fall semester on Aug. 13. Guthrie told the entire cast to expect a six-day rehearsal schedule and to not plan on having a Labor Day break. The show was assembled in its entirety for the first time on Aug. 29.

“… we are in a very good place,” he said. “The humor and pathos are there.”

With “Love, Loss, and What I Wore,” Guthrie said audiences can and should expect a variety of stories -- some solo, some ensemble -- by real women from all across the country, told in the first person about certain clothes from their lives and the events and emotions that are attached to those clothes.

“…if an audience member dislikes one story,” he added, “give us five minutes and another will come along.”

The play contains adult themes and language and is not recommended for young audiences.

Nora Ephron was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) for “Silkwood,” “When Harry Met Sally,” and “Sleepless in Seattle.” She won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for Best Original Screenplay for “When Harry Met Sally.” Her last film was “Julie & Julia.”

Delia Ephron’s screenplays include “You’ve Got Mail,” “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” “Hanging Up,” which is based on her novel, and “Michael.” She has written novels for adults and teenagers, books of humor, and essays.

Tickets for “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, $8 for children and non-VSU students, and free for VSU students. Tickets for groups of 10 or more at a single performance are $7.

Season memberships, which include eight admissions to be used as desired by the member throughout the 2012-2013 theatre and dance season, are $58.85 for the public and $53.50 for university faculty and staff. Patronages are also available at a variety of levels, from $150 to $1,000, and benefit scholarships.

“Love, Loss, and What I Wore” opens at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Lab Theatre on the second floor of the Fine Arts Building, located at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street. Additional performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, through Saturday, Sept. 8; 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9; and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, through Wednesday, Sept. 12.

Tickets may be purchased by calling the VSU Theatre and Dance Box Office at (229) 333-5973 between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Contact H. Duke Guthrie at (229) 333-5307 or dguthrie@valdosta.edu to learn more.

On the Web:

Visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/valdostastate/sets/72157631437448344/ to view more photos.

Next Up:
“Fresh Tracks: The VSU Repertory Dancers in Concert,” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4-6, 3 p.m. Oct. 7, Sawyer Theatre, First Floor Fine Arts Building