"Love, Loss, and What I Wore," Nora and Delia Ephron's award- winning play about women's relationships and their wardrobes, opens July 20 at the Redlands Theatre Festival.
The play, which will be staged for six performances outdoors in Avice Meeker Sewall Theatre in Prospect Park, is directed by Shannon Galuszka of Riverside.
Organized as a series of monologues and with a cast of six women, the play uses clothing and accessories, and the memories they trigger, to tell funny and poignant stories that all women can relate to.
The play, based on the best-selling book by Ilene Beckerman, uses the female wardrobe as a time capsule of a woman's life, including past identities, previous body shapes and hopes taken or abandoned.
"'Love, Loss and What I Wore' is a kind of scrapbook with a rich subject matter that is far-reaching," Galuszka said.
"The issues of mother-daughter relationships, high heels, bras, love, marriage, divorce and even rape are never explored at a very deep level, but will hopefully inspire more in-depth thought and conversation on the way home from the theater."
Galuszka also takes on a role in the reader's theater production.
"The challenges of directing this piece come not from acting in it, but from the type of theater it is. (It's) reader's theater," she said. " I don't want to give it away, because the idea of reader's theater can be a turn-off for people who aren't familiar to the genre.
"The cast is brilliant and easy to work with, including my mother (Karen Cabanilla), who I adore working with on stage. A happier, more talented group of professionals there never was," Galuszka said.
Galuszka, whose husband and 8-year-old daughter are also involved in the Redlands Theatre Festival, is working on her master's degree in theater arts at Cal State San Bernardino.
In addition, she has taken on more of the managerial aspects of the Redlands Theatre Festival from her father, Cliff Cabanilla, who founded the festival, now in its 41st season, and is its artistic producer.
"Love, Loss, and What I Wore" made its way Off-Broadway in 2009, where it ran as the second-longest show in the Westside Theatre's history. It won the 2010 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience and the 2010 Broadway Audience Award for Favorite New Off- Broadway Play.
In addition to Galuszka, others in the cast are Karen Cabanilla, Sandra Rice and Carol Damagen, Redlands; Cathy DeBrule, Running Springs; and Kristin Rodriguez, Riverside.
Performances of "Love, Loss, and What I Wore" continue July 25 and 31 and Aug. 6, 16 and 21.
The play is one of five shows in repertory at Prospect Park through Aug. 24. Other shows are "The Andrews Brothers," Dividing the Estate," "Hairspray" and "The Importance of Being Earnest."
Single tickets are available in advance or at the door for $20. Student tickets may be purchased 15 minutes before curtain with a valid I.D. for $16. Season tickets are available for $80 for all five shows. Group tickets also are available at a discounted rate.
Tickets are available at the Redlands Theatre Festival box office in Prospect Park, at Cajon Street and Highland Avenue in Redlands, or by calling 909-792-0562. Ticket information is also available at rftseason.com.
Theatergoers may park on Cajon Street and take the free tram ride to and from the theater. Picnicking is allowed on the festival grounds before each show.
SOURCE: Owen Sheeran, publicity coordinator for Redlands Theatre Festival
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