From one character becoming a grandmother to another dealing with a child who is a lawbreaker, the tale presents life lessons and experiences that Michael Anthony believes are accessible to audiences. As the director of The Pumphouse Players' offering of "The Dixie Swim Club," he will be bringing the work of playwrights Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten to the Cartersville stage this month.
"It's about five women who get together every August after they've graduated college. They were on a swim team together. ... [The play is] funny," Anthony said, about its broad appeal. "The authors have written several Southern-based plays. Even though the play is based in the South, it's being put on all over the world. It's just a nice, light-hearted play with a little bit of drama in it. People just like it. I think they relate to it."
The play, which features a cast of five, is being performed at The Legion Theatre -- 114 W. Main St. in Cartersville -- at 8 p.m. on June 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26 and 3 p.m. on June 20 and 26.
According to www.joneshopewooten.com, "As their lives unfold and the years pass, these women increasingly rely on one another, through advice and raucous repartee, to get through the challenges -- men, sex, marriage, parenting, divorce, aging -- that life flings at them. And when fate throws a wrench into one of their lives in the second act, these friends, proving the enduring power of 'teamwork,' rally round their own with the strength and love that takes this comedy in a poignant and surprising direction. 'The Dixie Swim Club' is the story of these five unforgettable women -- a hilarious and touching comedy about friendships that last forever."
Through glimpses into their reunions, the audience sees Karen Stinard's character, Sheree Hollinger, at ages 44, 49, 54 and 77.
"She is married to the same person, where her other friends go through different life-testing alterations," Stinard said. "One character divorces five times, the other one is in the same marriage but is struggling and she is just happily married.
"Physically, she is a health nut. I believe Sheree maintains her health through exercise and eating correctly. You get a real good glimpse of that because I'm always bringing sprouted barley cakes and healthy food to the outings that we go to once a year. But physically you can see that once I hit 77, I've had my hip replaced. That's mentioned and also the audience can kind of feel it because I come in with a quad cane when I'm walking. But I think I'm still completely vibrant and there mentally. It's just you can see that the body has broken down a little bit."
With a love of the theater and her elders, the Cartersville resident is enjoying the opportunity to portray an aging character.
"I absolutely love it," Stinard said. "I started [acting] when I was five with my first show and I'm 49. I've always worked with young children, special ed. and pre-K, and I've also worked with adult special ed. So I've always had that love for young children and much, much older people. So to actually play something like this was really a thrill."
Tickets for "The Dixie Swim Club" are $15 for general admission, $12 for senior adults, students and Pumphouse Players' members, and $10 per person for pre-paid groups of 10 or greater. For more information, visit www.pumphouseplayers.com or call 770-387-2610.