“Shirley Valentine” shows feminism and independence

Liz Stephens, City Reporter

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Charleston resident Ann Bruehler plays the lead in “Shirley Valentine,” a one-women play the begins Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Tarble Arts Center. Bruehler said she watched a lot of youtube videos to prepare for her role speaking in a Liverpool accent.

Justin Brown
Charleston resident Ann Bruehler plays the lead in “Shirley Valentine,” a one-women play the begins Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Tarble Arts Center. Bruehler said she watched a lot of youtube videos to prepare for her role speaking in a Liverpool accent.

“Shirley Valentine,” a one-woman play that embodies issues of feminism and independence, will be shown by the Charleston Community Theatre starting 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Tarble Arts Center.

Director Kathryn Stewart said “Shirley Valentine” features a middle-aged woman who is a mother with grown children and a complacent husband.

The play displays the sacrifice that women make in marriage and with their children.

Stewart said a friend originally showed her the movie “Shirley Valentine” in 1992 and she loved it so she picked up the script.

This is the first play Stewart has directed. She said the strength of the show is in the script.

Kathryn Stewart, director of “Shirley Valentine” glances at the camera before the plays rehearsel Monday at Tarble Arts Center. Stewart said the show is funny but you will laugh more than you cry.

Justin Brown
Kathryn Stewart, director of “Shirley Valentine” glances at the camera before the plays rehearsel Monday at Tarble Arts Center. Stewart said the show is funny but you will laugh more than you cry.

“The show is funny but you will laugh more than you cry,” she said.

Charleston resident Ann Bruehler plays the lead in “Shirley Valentine”.

Stewart said Bruehler has been doing wonderfully memorizing the 15,000 or so words in the script.

Like Stewart, Bruehler said she read the script and loved it.

“I kept reading the script and kept falling more and more in love with Shirley Valentine,” she said.

Another actress was planning on playing the role of “Shirley Valentine,” but was not able to do it so Bruehler took on the role.

“It’s a fun role to play, it is like playing your BFF. I relate to Shirley with the grown up kids, but luckily I have a happy marriage,” Bruehler said.

She said the play will show the audience what it feels like to get out of their own skins and their environment, which is how she feels when she performs.

“I think everybody can relate to the show,” Bruehler said.

The Charleston Community Theatre decided to put on the show last spring and committed to the show around July.

“An advantage of being the only one on stage is that if you get out of order on your lines on stage you can save yourself and can’t blame anybody else,” Bruehler said.

Bruehler does about eight different voices during the show when “Shirley Valentine” is talking to and playing other characters.

“I had to practice speaking in a Liverpool accent,” Bruehler said. “Needless to say, I watched a lot of YouTube.”

Bruehler has participated in other shows with the Charleston Community Theatre such as “An Evening at Ford’s Theatre” and “A Question of Loyalty.”

The performance dates for “Shirley Valentine” will be 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Thursday Feb. 2, Friday Feb. 3 and Saturday Feb. 4.

Tickets will be $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for students.

Bruehler said after this performance at the Tarble Arts Center, the Charleston Community Theatre will be performing at the Elks Lodge because of a large art installation that will be in the Tarble.

 

Liz Stephens can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]