Onstage, ‘Designing Women’ Sheds the Shoulder Pads, Not Its Politics

Not all of the show’s content was progressive. Aside from Anthony Bouvier (played by Meshach Taylor), the only other person of colour in the show played a minor role in its company. Insisting that women’s experiences were not all the same, it gave its characters a wide range of perspectives.

It’s possible the characters in this show might have came across as stereotypical if written as a logline: tough as nails, bimbo, pragmatic, nave. However, the actors who played them all showed that they weren’t stereotypical at all. While fighting, they stood by one another.

Because of this, “Designing Women” is more than just a repackaged version of a well-known film. By virtue of its role in the television medium, it represented women of various political persuasions in an aesthetically appealing way.

It’s now even more pronounced. The audience may be able to continue these talks offstage, whether or not the characters are onstage, if they are still able to converse with each other during the play’s run time.

After announcing the play in early 2020, TheaterSquared didn’t begin composing it until this year, and Bloodworth-Thomason eventually amassed almost 7,00 page of material. (It seemed as if those voices couldn’t stop talking.)

For her devoted supporters, the September draught included a reference to Julia’s famous “the lights went out in Georgia” speech, which displayed her polished delivery and rapier wit.

Even though Anthony’s cousin Cleo, who is Black and gay, is now a co-owner of the company, the feminism still isn’t very intersectional (Carla Renata). However, the script’s politics have been updated. Julia (Kim Matula) instructs new receptionist Hayley (Kim Matula) in temperature checks for clients in the first line.

“Kick ’em out if they refuse,” Julia advises. Never let anyone into the building who is wearing a MAGA hat in. A voice mail message accuses Julia of lying and calls her a “socialist slut” in the background.

Bloodworth-Thomason hopes the show will tour the South and eventually land on Broadway. She and Thomason chose TheaterSquared for the audition because of dialogue like this. Trump won Washington County, which includes Fayetteville, by a slim margin of 50.39 percent to 46.49 percent in 2020, and the theatre gets a diverse audience that doesn’t all vote in the same direction.

While we were sipping on our beers, Miller told me, “I realise that not everyone that goes in the door would instantaneously agree with me,” Theater, on the other hand, has an intentional plan to encourage these kinds of discussions. There are 16 different local beers on tap at the cafe.