SecondStory Repertory readies for 'Girls Day Out!'
By MARY STEVENS DECKER
Redmond Reporter Reporter
February 17, 2009 · Updated 9:51 AM
SecondStory Repertory (SSR), the professional theatre ensemble at Redmond Town Center, presents its first “Girls Day Out!” extravaganza from 12:30-5:30 p.m. Sunday, March 22.
A light lunch at Matt’s Rotisserie and Oyster Lounge will precede a fashion show with clothes, makeup and hair styles from Vivid Collection, White House/Black Market, Chico’s, Macy’s, Gene Juarez and The Body Shop.
Next, it’s off to the SSR production of “The Last Night of Ballyhoo,” followed by a chat with the cast. Finally, patrons will receive goodie bags, said SSR artistic director Susanna Wilson.
Tickets for this package deal are $50 for the general public. Subscribers who’ve already paid for the show will receive a discount in the amount of their ticket. Please RSVP by March 15 to attend.
Wilson explained the motivation to launch the event.
“A big reason was the sluggish economy. The mall was very slow during the holidays,” she noted.
It got her thinking, “What can we do together?,” meaning SSR and other merchants at the Town Center to get people — especially females — off their couches and enjoying each other’s company.
“Eighty percent of household spending decisions are made by women,” she pointed out.
And SSR is run by women — Wilson and the managing director, Caitlin Frances.
“Seattle is an anomaly throughout the nation for female-run businesses in the arts. If you look at the Tonys, it’s mostly men (working in theatre). And Caitlin and I are both moms, doing education. I love the idea of women coming together — in the ‘hood, so to speak.”
She feels the featured play “The Last Night of Ballyhoo” is a perfect vehicle for this concept. It’s set in 1939 in Atlanta, at the time when the Hollywood masterpiece “Gone With the Wind” premiered and put the eyes of the world on the American South.
The protagonists are a Jewish family “who feel their Jewishness has been stripped from them. It’s about finding pride in who you are,” Wilson explained.
She also likes the idea of mixing a period piece of entertainment with a modern-day fashion show for comparison and contrast.
Wilson hopes this will be just the first of many “Girls Day Out!” and other community-building events. She’s toyed with the idea of presenting women’s self-defense classes at the theatre and perhaps some singles’ socials before plays at SSR.
Plus, she has been working with the City of Redmond’s Parks and Recreation Department on some collaborative projects for the summer and fall.
Those will include a teen musical production of “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown,” based on the Peanuts comic series. There will be indoor performances at SSR and one free, outdoor performance as part of Derby Days.
Next Halloween, SSR will team with Parks and Recreation to bring a scary storytelling tour to Anderson Park. An apprenticeship program for teens and college students, to give them hands-on experience in theatre production, is also being planned.
This past December, between the dreadful weather and consumer wariness, was SSR’s worst month in its 10-year history. But Wilson wants to put the unpleasant memory behind her.
“Spring, for me, is always a time for hope,” she stated. Organizing “Girls Day Out!” and other special events, “is a step toward hope. In our society that is so fragmented, with everyone e-mailing, this is a way to come together and communicate face-to-face.”
SecondStory Repertory is on the second floor of Redmond Town Center at 16587 NE 74th St. For information, call (425) 881-6777 or visit www.secondstoryrep.org.Contact Redmond Reporter Reporter Mary Stevens Decker at email@example.com or (425) 867-0353, ext. 5052.