BLT to show “Wise Women”

Published 8:40 pm Tuesday, December 9, 2008

If you need help getting in the holiday mood, don’t miss Bainbridge Little Theatre’s production of “Wise Women,” by Ron Osborne, starting Thursday, Dec. 11, until Sunday, Dec. 14.

Set in 1944 war-time Knoxville, the play is a sentimental, moving story of the healing spirit of Christmas in the face of old wounds and new challenges. A single mother with a teenage daughter struggles to be a good parent and provider as she tries to cope with her daughter’s first steps toward adulthood.

To make ends meet, the mother takes in two young women who work as bomb-makers in a local war plant. Personal crises and painful memories complicate the four women’s lives as they move toward Christmas and the surprising resolution of their problems.

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The mother is realistically portrayed by Marjorie Mayfield, a veteran BLT actress and experienced mother of teenagers. Her lively daughter, “Rose,” who schemes to attend a USO Frank Sinatra concert and yearns for romance, is played by Emily Hiers, a student at Grace Academy.

The two young boarders, “Jiggs” and “Sarah Ruth,” bring their own special problems into the mix. Jiggs, who relishes the attention of Knoxville’s young soldiers, is Rebekah Mann. Rebekah is a recent graduate of Georgia College and State University and a long-time BLT actor. Sarah Ruth is Bainbridge High School student Caroline Maxwell, another theater veteran, who sensitively interprets the gentle, conflicted nature of her character.

Two young men, soldiers played by Austin Rowe and Michael Love, add romantic and comic interest to the play.

The story is a heartwarming, nostalgic look at 1940s America. A 2003 winner of the Southern Playwrights Competition, it is old-fashioned in the best sense of the term and sparkles with what Sarah Ruth calls “The miracle of Christmas.” It was first produced professionally by Barter Theatre, Abingdon, Va., in November 2004.

Wise Women, directed by Tracy Harrington, is the second play of BLT’s 35th season. It opens Thursday, Dec. 11. Performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday are at 8 p.m., with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Dec. 14. For tickets, call 246-8345 between 1 to 6 p.m. or visit for more information.