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March is Women’s History Month, and a timely new partnership between the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center (FAMCC) and Stage Door Productions, Inc. will celebrate the unique feminine experience.

Stage Door Productions will present a second run of Love, Loss and What I Wore, a play by Nora and Delia Ephron, in conjunction with the FAMCC exhibit, Woman Adorned: Transcending Time, Transforming Culture on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 20-22 at 7:30 p.m. at the museum.

Love, Loss and What I Wore, based on the 1995 Ilene Beckerman novel of the same name, is a series of monologues presented by an all-female ensemble cast. The play uses clothing and accessories as starting points to relay sometimes funny and often poignant stories relatable to all women. “The great thing about this play is that each character is everywoman,” says Kimberly Kemp, Executive Director of Stage Door Productions and Director of Love, Loss and What I Wore. “The stories the actors tell have universal themes. It really speaks to audiences on a deeper level when they can personally identify with what each character is sharing, at least in some small way.” The Woman Adorned: Transcending Time, Transforming Culture exhibit highlights pieces from the museum’s garment and accessories collection and selected pieces from the Virginia Historical Society and the Valentine Richmond History Center. The installation explores the relationship between women in history, their actions and their choice of clothing. “A big part of the exhibit is how clothes make us feel, and how they inspire us to do certain things,” says Tramia Jackson, FAMCC Director of Education and Public Programs. “We have things like Freedom Fighter uniforms and bloomers- pieces that reflect dynamic times, and how women changed what they could be by what they wore.” Likewise, Love, Loss and What I Wore evokes the same sense of feminine spirit through clothing. The storytelling is grounded by the character of Gingy, whose life narrative weaves through the stories and anecdotes of other women. Recounts of bras, wedding dresses, boots and favorite shirts are actually deeper statements about relationships, life-changing events, acceptance and love. Interspersed between the more poignant moments are humorous observations about women and clothing, including tales from the dreaded fitting room, laments about nothing to wear and cleaning out closets, and an explanation for why there will never be a “new” black. The strong connections between themes in the play and historical moments depicted in the museum exhibit made the partnership between the FAMCC and Stage Door Productions a natural one. The stories in the play “capture moments in history… and show how women perceive themselves in clothing,” says Jackson of the ties between the show and the installation.

Stage Door Productions originally debuted Love, Loss and What I Wore in December through a partnership with Weadon Studios. The production met with acclaim from audience members, male and female alike, for the honesty, humor and emotion of the stories depicted. The original cast from December will return for the March engagement at the FAMCC. “During the first run of this show it was amazing to see relationships forming between the ladies in the cast as well as the reaction from audience members. The play inspired us to open up to each other with our own memories and reflections, and I think the audiences could feel that. The response was just tremendous,” says Kemp. “Our new partnership with the FAMCC creates even deeper meaning; through the Woman Adorned exhibit we can see how the anecdotes in the show, our personal recollections and how we define ourselves fit into the greater narrative of women’s history.”

Tickets for Love, Loss and What I Wore and Woman Adorned: Transcending Time, Transforming Culture are $15 for FAMCC members and $25 for non-members. Tickets may be purchased in advance or on the night of the event. The show will be held in the Town Hall room at the museum with a reception and exhibition viewing to follow.  For information about this event please contact Tramia Jackson at tjackson@famcc.org.

Be sure to visit the FAMCC website.

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