Five women who met in college in the 1950s leave husbands, children and jobs behind as they reunite one weekend every summer at the same beach cottage on North Carolina's Outer Banks.
That's at the heart of The Dixie Swim Club, a Valley Theater production that opens Aug. 2 at the Princess Theatre in Prosser.
"This play is very, very funny," said director Rick James. "The writers created a script that is filled with one-liners while tapping into the essence of female friendship. Audience members will recognize their moms, sisters, friends, aunts, cousins and nieces in the characters.
"And even though the cast is all women, the play is about men too."
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Darlene Mahon of Kennewick plays Lexie, with Candace Andrews of Prosser as Jeri Neal, Kim Keltch of Pasco as Sheree, SueEllen Davis of Prosser as Vernadette, and Heather Ruane of Richland as Dinah.
"The Dixie Swim Club opens in 1980 with big hair, big shoulder pads, big personalities and advances through the years to 2013," Andrews said. "Along the way, audiences will laugh, shake their heads, and shed a few tears as these five characters prove that a friend is someone who knows when to shout and when to hold you in her arms and let you cry."
As the years pass, the friends turn to each other for support when it comes to men, sex, children, divorce and aging.
The women first met while on the same swim team at college. Sheree, their swim team captain, is full of spunk and has a fierce need to keep her life organized and perfect.
Dinah, an attorney, is the smart-mouthed overachiever whose courtroom victories are opposite from her personal life.
Lexie is the pampered one, outspoken and determined to retain her youthful looks.
Vernadette maintains a self-deprecating attitude about the chaos in her life, and Jeri Neal is the naively sweet one of the group whose choices in life continue to baffle her friends.
"This play resonated with me from the first read through," Mahon said. "I feel lucky to be a part of this show, and it's not just because we go skinny dipping in nearly every scene."
Keltch believes those who see this play will be reminded of the importance of friendships.
"The Dixie Swim Club is an honest look at the relationships women have with each other," Keltch said. "Audiences will see a glimpse of the lives of five women who laugh, fight, support and care for each other through all life has to offer."
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Aug. 2-3 and 9-10 at the Princess Theatre in downtown Prosser.
Tickets cost $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors and are available at the box office or in advance at Adventures Underground in Richland, Sixth Street Art & Gift Gallery in Prosser, Patnode's Hardware in Benton City, Safeway in Grandview and Melange in Sunnyside.
-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dorioneal