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home : news : news   April 29, 2016

3/27/2013 1:16:00 PM
Women rule the roost in latest Stage 212 play

Kelli Montgomery (from left), Natalie Smigel, Kathy Missel, Phyllis Deany and Zoe Clover star in Stage 212’s upcoming production, “The Dixie Swim Club.” The show features an all-female cast and crew.NewsTribune photo/Matthew Baker
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Kelli Montgomery (from left), Natalie Smigel, Kathy Missel, Phyllis Deany and Zoe Clover star in Stage 212’s upcoming production, “The Dixie Swim Club.” The show features an all-female cast and crew.
NewsTribune photo/Matthew Baker
If you GO:
“The Dixie Swim Club” will be presented April 19-21 and 26-28 at Stage 212, 700 First St., La Salle. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m. Tickets will be available to the public for $15 each beginning April 1. Box office hours are 4-6 p.m. Monday; 1-4 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m.-noon Saturday.

Tickets also can be reserved over the phone with Visa, MasterCard or Discover. Call (815) 224-3025 for details.

Matthew Baker
Staff Writer

The latest production at Stage 212 in La Salle comes with a distinct feminine touch.

The play, “The Dixie Swim Club,” features an all-female cast and production crew.

Director Ellen Marincic said she was inspired to attempt the all-female production after noticing just how many women were involved in Stage 212 during another recent production.

“I’m just real proud of everybody,” Marincic said.

Natalie Smigel, who’s returning to the stage from Stage 212’s business office in the role of Sheree, joked, “The downside to this is we don’t have any men to blame things on.”

More seriously, she said the decision to perform this “Swim Club,” which was suggested by a Stage 212 patron, plays to the local theater company’s wealth of female actresses and volunteers.

“A lot of our plays are so male heavy and it’s hard to find men to fill the slots,” Smigel said.

While the stage and backstage will be female dominated, Marincic hopes to see men in the crowd.

“This play has something for everybody,” she said.

“The Dixie Swim Club” tells the story of “five southern women, whose friendships began many years ago on their college swim team, set aside a long weekend every August to recharge those relationships. Free from husbands, kids and jobs, they meet at the same beach cottage on North Carolina’s Outer Banks to catch up, laugh and meddle in each other’s lives. ‘The Dixie Swim Club’ focuses on four of those weekends and spans a period of 33 years,” according to a Stage 212 press release.
“There’s a sho
rt scene where you cry, but there’s a lot of laughter,” Marincic said.
Marincic said the cast and crew have gotten caught up in the themes of women’s friendships as they’ve worked on the production and have decided to collect funds during performances to support the local Zonta Club’s college scholarships for female students at Illinois Valley Community College.

“The Dixie Swim Club” was written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten.

The production staff includes director and set designer Marincic, producer Sue Yopchick, assistant director and stage manager Carol Hartenbower, costume/wig coordinator Maryhelen Bidasio, prop coordinators Joan Eiberger and Mary Beth Brantner, sound operator Jessica Gray, light operator Gwen Handford, lighting designer Megan Baznik-Wilson and stagehand Kathy Hite. The set construction crew includes Hartenbower, Tracy Daugherty, Baznik-Wilson, Kathy Hite and Marincic.

Matthew Baker can be reached at (815) 220-6933, or

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