Theatre Longview is inviting audiences to splash into some fun with its next production, “The Dixie Swim Club,” which will be staged Aug. 16-18 at Grace Crossing United Methodist Church.
“The Dixie Swim Club” focuses on five Southern friends who met on their college swim team. Every August the friends go on vacation together to the same cottage on a beach in North Carolina to reignite their friendships, with no husbands, children or jobs to worry about. Longview native Abby Jester is directing this Jones Hope Wooten comedy.
The play typically features five women who age over time, but Jester wanted to simplify the work of making the women look older and reduce the amount of lines they had to memorize.
“I wanted them to have an easier time between acts, so I have an Act 1 cast that consists of women about 10 to 15 years-old post-college. Act 2 consists of somewhat older women to represent the passing of time,” Jester said.
Jester, 20, is set to graduate from the University of North Texas in the spring of 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in theatre education. A Longview native, Jester made her theater debut at 4-years-old. She moved to middle school theater at Longview ISD and knew her senior year of high school that she wanted to pursue theater professionally.
“My senior year I was Éponine in ‘Les Miserables,’ and that was one of the big experiences I had where I decided to stay in theater,” Jester said. “My teacher Pam Mercer-Mcwilliams encouraged me to keep going and I owe most of my future and decisions to her.”
Jester said, “It has been a real honor to get to do this [play], I am so happy. ... I couldn’t have asked for a better cast. I want to thank them and my production team for making all of this possible.”
Jester got her start with Theatre Longview in 2018 when people involved with the board requested that she be the choreographer and play Snoopy for the organization’s production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” Jester keeps her Longview roots by continuing to stay involved with her alma mater and help when she is needed.
Theatre Longview’s 2019-2020 season also includes: “Making God Laugh” in November, “Greater Tuna” in March and “Barefoot in the Park” in May, as well as performances by its improv comedy group, “Duck. Duck. Moose.”