Inside the Dressing Room
by Sylvia Davenport-Veith
- CASSIE CLAYTON: 43. An outwardly
cheerful and enthusiastic Mother-of-the-Bride-to-Be. The years may have
passed, but she is an attractive and trim Southern belle. Deep down
inside, Cassie is hurting.
- BETTY LONGSTRING: 45.
Mother-of-the-Groom-to-Be and a somewhat reluctant shopping companion.
Betty is the Southern mom who dresses casually, bakes, cooks, and loves
waiting on her family. She has gained a few pounds over the years and
avoids full length mirrors. She uses her wit to cover her insecurities.
Thrown together as mothers-in-law-to-be, Cassie Clayton
and Betty Longstring are shopping for their gowns, but not everything is
going smoothly. While Cassie is happily modeling a chic dress on her trim
frame, Betty is struggling into a body briefer and dreading the dress Cassie
has selected for her. After much urging from Cassie, Betty emerges from
behind the dressing screen and strikes a comic pose, only to be horrified
when Cassie snaps her picture. She knows the dress is dreadfully
unflattering and secretly wishes she could drop 40 pounds on the spot.
Meanwhile, Cassie mildly chides Betty for not exercising and
enthusiastically begins a jazzercise lesson inside the dressing room. Not
wanting to be a poor sport, Betty joins in, but she doesn't have the
stamina. And, a darn hot flash hits. Cassie whips out a water bottle
spray fan, and hoses the hapless Betty down who madly tries to get away and
save the dress from her dripping hair. Cassie grabs a shopping bag and
sticks it on Betty's head which works until Betty nearly passes out from
"breathing her own carbon footprint." Just when it seems these two ladies
have nothing in common, the moment for a heart-to-heart arrives. Important
secrets are shared, and they decide to start their friendship anew over hot
A ladies dressing room.
the age of ten, Sylvia was cast as the Widow Douglas in a children's theatre
production of Tom Sawyer. After she stopped weeping over failing to land the
part of Becky Thatcher, Sylvia discovered the fantastic bonanza that comes
with character roles. She also never forgot the electric excitement pulsing
through the cast as each child waited to step on stage for the first time.
Many years have passed since that long ago debut, but nothing has diminished
Sylvia's love of theatre. After earning a BFA in Theatre (High Honors) and
M.Ed. in English Education from the University of Florida, Sylvia relocated
to Atlanta, Georgia where she continued to appear on stage at a variety of
theatres. Additionally, she taught classes and directed plays of all genres
for the Shiloh High School Theatre Department (a.k.a. Shiloh Onstage) in
Snellville, Georgia. Sylvia directed her own play, Prom Night, for
Shiloh Onstage in 2006. She is thrilled the play won Second Place in the
2008 Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Marilyn Hall Playwriting for Youth
Competition. Other plays by Sylvia include: Grandmothers' Gifts (to
be presented at The Bonderman Symposium Playwright Slam at the Indiana
Repertory Company in March 2009); and
A Snowy Night In Iowa
(selected by Process Theatre for its annual Read-a-Thon in November 2008).
Sylvia is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America; The American
Screenwriter's Association; The American Alliance for Theatre and Education;
and Working Title Playwrights.
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