Arts and Entertainment

‘If We Are Women’ examines life choices

If only there were more dramatic plays for women, Rozzella Kolbegger thought. She’d been aware of a little-known play called “If We Are Women,” by Joanna McClelland Glass, and had proposed it several times to the Island Theatre board. Her wish came true this year and she’ll direct the dramatic reading at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18-19 at the Bainbridge Library.

And while the timing coincides with another production in town about women, Kolbegger said that other than an all-female cast, they have nothing in common.

“If We Are Women” shares the story of four women from three generations who gather at Jessica’s beach house.

Jessica’s teenage-daughter is set to go to Yale, but impetuously decides on a detour after meeting a handsome guy. The reversal gets the other women thinking about their own life choices, each hoping to pass on wisdom to the girl.

The cast includes Shannon Dowling as Jessica, the mother; Christiana Bannister as the daughter Polly, Sara Anne Scribner and Pat Scott as the two grandmothers.

Kolbegger opted for a no-prop production.

“This is not a play about something happening,” she said. “It’s a play about relationships, emotions, about regrets, and how people feel about their life.”

Kolbegger sees the play as a wonderful opportunity for the actors since “all four parts have big emotional ranges,” she said.

An actor herself (last seen in CATS), she’s noticed there’s often more competition for the women’s roles than for the men’s. The play offers roles with a “huge age range.”

In the play, one grandmother has flown, for the first time, from the Canadian prairie. “If only I had gotten my eighth grade diploma,” she thinks. Her daughter is a novelist whose lover died recently. “If only I had a college degree, she says.” The second grandmother is an agnostic Jewish intellectual with a Master’s degree.

“If only I had gone to Oxford,” she sighs.

The mature subject matter, with its frank talk about sex, is appropriate for audiences 14 years and older.



Rozzella Kolbegger directs a reading of “If We Are Women” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18-19 at the Bainbridge Library.

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