The U of R Theatre Department’s fall production, String of Pearls, opens Wednesday, Nov. 3 on the main stage in the Riddell Centre, and those interested in attending are curious about what exactly the play is about.
“Well, that’s the interesting thing about it,” said Abbey Thiessen, one of the actresses for the upcoming production. “It’s kind of hard to just generalize it.” She states that, as the title suggests, the play heavily revolves around a string of pearls and “how they touch each woman’s life in the play, and from that point on, every single person is changed. Every single person, once they receive the pearls, or give away the pearls, or something has happened to the pearls … their lives change … in a way that their lives as a whole can improve.” Actress Hanna Pratt describes it as “a journey of the pearls and the people, [about] what happens to everyone. They’re all touched in different ways.”
The pearls help to exhibit the play’s themes, which include “love … definitely finding it and losing it, relationships and how they build … and everything in between.” The play features an all-female cast, and themes of femininity are prevalent throughout the play. “It’s the way women interact and how women bond over something. Even in scenes where there are only two people talking, there is a group of women united in one thing”
Don’t be frightened though, boys. Thiessen assures you that you’ll also be able to enjoy and relate to String of Pearls. “Every person has women in their lives, [whether it’s] their mom, sister, girlfriend,” explains Thiessen. The men in the audience are in the unique position of not only being able to see themselves from the perspective of women, but of also being able to see “the woman in their lives in a different light.”
Pratt hypothesizes that “because [the characters’] stories are so diverse, there is always someone who can relate it in some way.” Thiessen adds, “If you’re a high class lady who lives in a million dollar mansion, you’ll find something to connect with. If you’re a dying hooker on the corner you’ll find something to connect with.”
Another unique thing about String of Pearls is its break from traditional stage conventions. “We’re using a different stage convention. No one leaves the stage, ever. All eleven women are onstage the whole time.” What this means is that even the costume changes are done without leaving the stage. “Costume changes are done onstage. We don’t hide anything.”
String of Pearls is shaping up to be a performance that both genders can relate to and enjoy.