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Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, New Faces for a Fresh Comedy at Stage 3

“According to The Broadway League, 68% of the 2013/2014 Broadway audience was female,” Said Gordon. “I do believe that my primary purpose as a director is to serve the person who buys the ticket, so you can bet that I’m going to tell women’s stories.”

Catherine is delighted to be directing her first comedy at Stage 3 and is thrilled to have such a talented and accomplished local cast, with many Stage 3 newcomers. Five Women Wearing the Same Dress tells the story of an ostentatious wedding reception at a Knoxville, Tennessee estate and five reluctant, identically clad bridesmaids, each with her own story. They are Frances, played by Miriam Reza, a painfully sweet but sheltered fundamentalist; Mindy (Emily Kentta), the cheerful, wise-cracking lesbian sister of the groom, Georgeanne, played by Dixie Sky, whose heartbreak over her own failed marriage triggers outrageous behavior, Meredith (Rebekah Fegan) the bride's younger sister whose precocious rebelliousness masks a dark secret, and Trisha, played by Michelle Low, a jaded beauty whose die-hard cynicism about men is called into question when she meets Tripp (Anthony DeGregorio) a charming bad-boy usher to whom there is more than meets the eye. As the afternoon wears on, these five very different women joyously discover a common bond in this wickedly funny, irreverent and touching celebration of the women's spirit.

Photo: blue formal dress

Writer Alan Ball is a well known storyteller, working in all visual mediums. A writer and producer in television with such credits as True Blood, Six Feet Under and Grace Under Fire, his big screen ventures include American Beauty and Towelhead. His work has earned him an Oscar, an Emmy and awards from the writers, directors and producers guilds. Catherine Gordon is also a fan of Ball’s work. “American Beauty made a strong impression on me. Like Alan Ball, I am fascinated by what lies beneath the surface of suburban life. Annette Bening's character in that film demonstrates that keeping up appearances makes us brittle and unhappy. The five women in this play are unwilling to keep up those appearances, and that’s why they escape to Meredith’s bedroom in the first place.”

Michelle Low is a local favorite who has appeared at Stage 3 in Barefoot in the Park, Noises Off and most recently as Aggie in The Game's Afoot, and playing a bridesmaid is not a new role for her. “I have been a bridesmaid many times in my real life. I honestly love it, the celebrating and festivities. It helps that I've loved dearly everyone who has asked me to be a bridesmaid, unlike the women in this show.”

Emily Kentta is a newcomer to Stage 3, like many of the actors Catherine cast in Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, but she is no newcomer to the stage. She is a Sonora resident and appeared in CATS at Sierra Repertory Theatre several years ago, but much of her work has been done in Sacramento where she played Helen in Baby in the Bathwater and Pam in The Full Monty. Recently she received the Elly, the Sacramento Regional Theatre Alliance award, for best supporting actress for an original play, The Vanishing Point. “I am having wonderful fun with this play. My first day with this cast and crew I immediately felt like I belonged. Many of them have worked together before and I am the newcomer, but I have not felt that way at all. Everyone is so welcoming.”

Dixie Sky is yet another new face for Stage 3. She plays the heartbroken Georgeanne, fresh out of a failed marriage. She is also from Alabama and has been a big help to fellow cast members with their southern dialects. “We all go through heartbreak, it's a guarantee in this lifetime. Georgeanne is on the verge of making her own decisions based on her happiness, and not what society expects of her. I experienced that journey after turning 30.” She’s excited to appear in her very first show at Stage 3. “I fell in love with Stage 3 the very first time I saw a show here. I have always loved the intimacy of this theater.”

Miriam Rezza, a full-time college student majoring in Theatre and English at Columbia College, is another new actor for Stage 3. She’s appeared in The Miracle Worker, Arsenic & Old Lace and Beauty and the Beast. “This has been by far, one of the most positive theatre experiences I have ever had. I absolutely adore my cast and crew, and we are really starting to bond. The script is so powerful and enthralling to me.”

Rebekah Fegan has participated in Stage 3’s Green Street Players actors workshop, but this is her first production with Sonora’s only community theatre. She is a full-time student at Sacramento State in the Theatre Department and plans to pursue an acting career after graduation. For Rebekah finding her inner Meredith has been a journey of self discovery and an exploration of her own independence. “ For those who know me, I can be brash and sarcastic at times, which can be seen as disagreeable. But really, I don't like to make waves. Meredith's character deep down is very well meaning and all she really wants is her independence, which is something I can closely relate to.”

Anthony DeGregorio is a familiar face at Stage 3 having appeared in last years Greetings and Becky’s New Car and he’s the only man in a cast full of women. “I've never been an usher or groomsman. I was a ring bearer when I was a child. I walked around with my ring finger stuck up, and stole the show. No one lets me be in their weddings anymore.” On his fellow cast members, he has nothing but glowing reviews. “All the women in the show add a certain spice which I think Five Women Wearing the Same Dress calls for.”

The turnout for open auditions for Five Women Wearing the Same Dress was nearly unprecedented at Stage 3 and Catherine Gordon took full advantage, making sure she had many new faces. “I believe that opportunities for creative self-expression are essential for a happy life, so I am committed to expanding those opportunities to actors who are new to me, and to the community.” Understanding women and their stories is at the center of everything Gordon has in mind for this outrageous comedy, and she hopes that’s what the audience takes away when the show is over. “If they understand women and their dreams a little better after seeing this play, I will be happy.”

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