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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

SJU Theatre Company Performs “Love, Loss and What I Wore”

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Jacqueline Ward ’23 on stage in “Love, Loss and What I Wore.” PHOTOS COURTESY OF MELISSA KELLY


The SJU Theatre Company’s winter show, “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” is currently in its second week in Bluett Theater. 

The show, written by Nora and Delia Ephron and based on the book of the same name written by Ilene Beckerman, tells the stories of various women with respective items of clothing that have influenced their stories and their lives.  

“It has a lot to do with what it’s like growing up and living in a world as a woman, how our experiences really shaped us and how clothes can be a big part of that journey,” said Jacqueline Ward ’23, who plays the narrative lead, Gingy. “We have things like prom dresses that we spend so much time looking for and that have to be perfect.”

The show deals with several serious life experiences, such as divorce, loss of a parent and a mother’s criticism. The cast features five actresses who stay on stage for the duration of the show, for of whom play several roles for a total of 29 characters. They tell stories through both personal monologues and as an ensemble. 

Nikole Platenecky ’25, cast member, said the way the stories are told helps engage audiences. 

“It talks about divorce and a lot of things that women can watch the play and they could be like, ‘Oh, I totally understand this,’ or ‘I relate to it,’” Platenecky said. “But it also brings a lot of humor elements. And I think that it’s so relatable that it’s almost funny.”

Although the play more directly features women, there is a certain universal trait to its messages, said show director Laura Pattillo, Ph.D, assistant professor of English. 

“It’s not a play about shopping or high fashion, right? It’s a play about thinking back through important times in your life, and those memories are often tied to what you were wearing,” Pattillo said. “And that’s true for men as well as women.”

While four actresses switch which characters they portray throughout the play, Ward consistently plays Gingy. Based on the author of the book, Gingy brings together the other women’s stories, Ward said. 

“We follow her story from the stages of her life all the way through,” Ward said. “So I think she adds a steadiness.” 

The play mainly focuses on the experiences of older women, but this does not stop it from being relatable for younger audiences, said cast member Caitlin Ross ’25.

  

“[The stories] are meant for an older audience, but I think there’s still a lot of core meanings that we can all relate to,” Ross said. 

While covid-19 has been a hindrance to live performances, Patillo chose to put on “Love, Loss and What I Wore” because of its covid-friendly staging possibilities. 

“The way it is written to be staged is very easy to make it compliant with covid restrictions because it’s five actresses on a stage who are a couple of feet apart and facing forward,” Patillo said. “Distancing is sort of built in.” 

The week before opening night, the cast was granted permission to not wear masks while performing by Cary Anderson, Ed.D., associate provost and vice president of Student Life. Audience members will be required to wear masks and food and drink will not be allowed in the theater. 

Covid measures aside, the play features themes that are very fitting for the times, Pattillo said. 

“Mostly it’s about friends and family and milestones in your life, and that’s, I think, a good thing to be doing right now too,” Pattillo said. “In terms of where people are in the audience, they’ve been thinking about those things a lot over the last two years.” 

Performances of “Love, Loss and What I Wore” will run in Bluett Theater March 4 and 5 at 8 p.m. and March 6 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10. Email [email protected] at least 24  hours in advance to reserve your seat and pay via Venmo @elena-barb. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door on a first come, first serve basis and will be cash-only (no Venmo or card). Audience members will be required to wear a mask.

Allison Kite ’22 contributed to this story. 

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