In the season to be thankful, a group of Hopkins County women are grateful for one event that brought them together as best friends. The group met in May for the first time as actresses in the “Dixie Swim Club” play at Main Street Theatre. The story of these women might be best described by an Oscar Wilde quote.
“Life imitates art far more than art imitates life,” wrote Wilde in an 1889 essay.
“Dixie Swim Club” is about a group of friends who meet every year at a beach cottage to catch up on each other’s lives. The story encompasses multiple years as the women go through life's hurdles and use each other for strength.
“The director, Pip Bickford, announced he was casting 10 female characters, which was the exact number of people that came to audition,” said cast member Angie Diamond English. “I have never performed in the theater, but I saw a synopsis of the play and decided to show up for the audition.”
Bickford said that the cast immediately started to mesh together faster than any other cast he could recall.
“Bringing together 10 strangers to work together on a play can be very challenging, but the ‘Dixie’ cast was so easy to work with from the first day,” said Bickford.
He was surprised that the entire cast became so close over the three month rehearsal period.
“Our immediate connection was almost magical,” agreed English. “Toward the end of ‘Dixie Swim Club,’ we became a sisterhood plus Pip. There is no doubt in my mind that God brought us together.”
Cast member Angie McAnear had recently moved from Ohio to Hopkins County before auditioning for the play on a whim. McAnear found out making new friends in Sulphur Springs was incredibly easy.
“She instantly had nine new best friends, plus the crew,” said English. “Every cast member has their own story about how ‘Dixie’ brought everyone together.”
After the final curtain call, the “Dixie Ladies” could not let their friendship stop on stage. Just like the play, the ladies started to meet up regularly to catch up on each other’s lives and depend on each other.
“We set up a Facebook chat so we talk to each other almost every day, have brunches, and go to events together,” said Bickford. “One month, we all went to see “Mamma Mia” in Dallas. Our continual get-togethers this year are so much fun.”
For Thanksgiving, they decided to have a “Dixie Swim Club” dinner for the entire cast. English said her year has been blessed since she was introduced to her co-stars and she is thankful to meet such interesting women. Only time will tell if their sisterhood will last a lifetime like the characters in the play.
“If you hand picked 10 women to put together, most people would not put us together,” said English. “We come from all different walks of life, interests and social status, but somehow God put us together. Theses bonds we have created are so strong and it all came from deciding to audition for a play at Main Street Theatre.”