"Dixie Swim Club," a comedy that follows the lives of five Southern women dealing with the ups and downs of life, is currently available to the public.
Theatre Knoxville Downtown will present showings of "Dixie Swim Club," which is directed by James Fisher, now through March 2.
The play is a heartfelt comedy that aims to keep the audience entertained and laughing throughout the two hours of its runtime. The cast, composed of five women, adds up to make a diverse group. They share a bond from their younger days in college when they were all members of the same swim team.
The women have remained friends throughout the years, regardless of their differences, and the play highlights the comedic aspects of their lives. Each August, the women set aside a long weekend to themselves at a beach cottage in order to rekindle their friendship, catch up on each others' lives, and have time away from their husbands, jobs and children.
Bonny Pendleton is president of the board at Theatre Knoxville Downtown and also plays the character Jeri Neal.
"I love the intimacy of our space and the great people who make up the board," Pendleton said. "As an all-volunteer organization, the board members give hours of their time to make our theater successful."
Pendleton said her character is one who deals with many changes throughout her life, but she faces them all with humor, laughs and positivity.
"I love the way Jeri Neal charges right into life and always expects the best," Pendleton said.
Pendleton admitted she's hopeful audiences will enjoy the comedic aspects of the play and said the show is shaping up to be one of the theater's most popular and best-attended shows of this season.
Cheri Compton, who plays the character Sheree, is a previous president of the board at the theater and said most volunteers, both on and off-stage, also work professionally in theater and film.
Compton's character, Sheree, was captain of the swim team and is seen as the organizer and nurturer of the group.
"She wants to take care of them and prides herself on providing healthy food, activities and encouragement," Compton said. "A lot is revealed by the way the others view her."
Compton said the central theme of the play is friendship and how the group of women maintains it over the years. She said she feels the play is relatable to college students because the characters' bond began in college and continued throughout their lives, which are full of difficult decisions the plot explores.
"It is funny and charming," Compton said. "Each of these women have characteristics that college students would recognize in themselves and their friends."
Fisher said the cast is one comprised of very diverse characters, with personalities and a social spectrum all their own.
"UT students will see very good acting from a very talented cast," Fisher said, "as well as the humor, relationships and situations women experience throughout a lifetime."