The Duncan Banner

September 17, 2013

‘Dixie Swim Club’ set to give farewell performance

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — After 11⁄2 years of performing “Dixie Swim Club,” five Duncan Little Theatre performers are set to give their final performances as their characters.

DLT will present “Dixie Swim Club” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and the following weekend — Sept. 27 and Sept. 28 — at the Simmons Center Theatre. These four presentations will be the only time the group has performed the play in its entirety.

“Dixie Swim Club” is the play DLT took to the Oklahoma Community Theatre Association in 2012. They first started putting the show together in March 2012. The performance won state and advanced to the regional competition in April this year. The show stars Heather Amaya, Tana Ashford, Gina Flesher, Loisdawn Jones and Cindy Reynolds, and is directed by Sharon Burum.

“It will be very bittersweet,” Jones said of the final performances of the show. “(When  you do a show this long) you get to add extra layers to these characters. I look at where we were when we went to state. We’re a lot better.”

Initially, the women were going to perform a portion of the play once, and that was to be as an entry in the 2012 OCTA Fest. But that changed when DLT’s submission won state and was set to move up to the regional competition.

Reynolds said she was in disbelief when Flesher, who is the DLT president, called to let her know “Dixie” won the state competition. It was in that moment the play became more than one performance. In fact, the women had several months ahead of them to continue to perfect their characters for the regional contest.

They also spent time raising money to make it to the regional contest in Lafayette, La. The team sold miles for $10 each.

“It was nice that the community came behind us,” Jones said.

Jones and Reynolds said the four-performance engagement is a way of giving back to the community for supporting DLT’s competitive venture. They said they’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from people who have seen portions of the play.

Reynolds said it’s because the characters are relatable; the characters remind people of women they know. Jones said several women have mentioned to her how the “Dixie Swim Club” could essentially be a their women’s clubs or their group of friends.

Those women are part of the reason the DLT group wants to show the play in its entirety. Reynolds said it will be a way to show how the characters have developed, while paying homage to the women who have been inspired by the performances.

“It will be nice to put the pieces together,” Reynolds said.