Academics

Mrs. California

Poster for student production of Mrs. California

by Doris Baizley

April 8-11, 2010 Glenn Wallichs Theatre

Directed by Victoria Lewis
Set Design by Nephelie Andonyadis
Costume Design by Michaela Petrovich
Lighting Design by Trevor Norton
Stage Managed by Tessa Randall
Choreography by Robyn O'Dell
Dramaturgy by Lisa Wiborg
Sound and Musical Direction by Jenny Aaron

The time is pre-women's lib 1955, the place a Los Angeles hotel, where a homemakers contest is in progress - the winner to embody the epitome (at the time) if the ideal woman: "a happy, good and beautiful homemaker." Entered as Mrs. LA, Dot, sponsored by the local gas company, vies with the others in ironing a man's shirt, sewing an apron from an original pattern, setting a table, preparing a meal, and deliving a monologue entitled "My Proudest Moment" - which, for Dot, was when she saved an American naval force from submarine attack while serving as a decoder in the WAVES during World War II.

She is also abetted by her tatt-tongued friend Babs, an electronics wizard who is not above tampering with sewing machines and stoves as the contest comes down to the finals, with Mrs. Modesto, Mrs. San Bernardino and Mrs. San Francisco going head to head with Dot for the victory. Urged one way by the brassy Babs (who can't resist showing up the contest for the ridiculous farce it is) and another by the fatuous man from the gas company (who pleads with Dot to play by the rules) Dot ultimately decides to do what she thinks is right rather than what she is told to do - the result, of course, being that the final nod goes to the contesstant who best fulfills the image ordained by the macho men who run the contest and the one who manages to blend a good helping of sex appeal with her compliance.

Doris Baizley, Losset Guest Professor, Playwright in Residence:
Doris Baizley is a member of the Mark Taper Forum Writer's Workshop and a founder of L.A. Theatreworks. Her plays Mrs. California, A Christmas Carol, Tears of Rage and Catholic Girls have been produced in many U.S. regional theatres including The Mark Taper Forum, A Contemporary Theatre the Cleveland Playhouse, The Kennedy Center and the National Theatre for the Deaf, and internationally at the Icon Theatre in Taipei and the Semafor Theatre in Prague. Ms. Baizley will be in residence at the University of Redlands throughout the Spring 2010 semester.

Cast:

 Dot  Ziza Craig
 Babs  Amanda Gray
 Dudley  Nick Tellier
 Stage Manager  J.L Durian
 Mrs. San Francisco  Lizzie Atherton
 Mrs. San Bernardino  Jill Ferry
 Mrs. Modesto  Grace Nolde
 TV Crewmembers  Luke Copp
   Carla Griego
   Brianna Maltez
   Steve Zarian
   Steve Schoelen
 Recorded Voice  David Fleming
 Singing quintet  Liz McGavock
   Desiree Weathers
   Amanda Nonomura
   Jenny Aaron
   Holly Sweezey


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