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'Dixie Swim Club' sets up at Playhouse
'Comedy ... with a lot of heart'
Swim WEB 1
Cast members of “The Dixie Swim Club,” above from left, Lisa Manette Allender, Tracy Lee Holden and Danielle Gustaveson, rehearse a scene at the Cumming Playhouse. - photo by Autumn Vetter

At a glance

“The Dixie Swim Club” runs at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday through Feb. 26. All seats are $17.50 and can be purchased online at or by calling (770) 781-9178.

The story of five feisty Southern women and their annual summertime retreat takes center stage this month at the Cumming Playhouse.

“The Dixie Swim Club,” a production of Gypsy Theatre Company, debuted Thursday night and runs Thursday-Sunday through Feb. 26.

Danielle Gustaveson, who plays one of the lead roles, said the play tracks the annual pilgrimage of five friends who were all members of their college swim team.

“They come together every year at a beach house in North Carolina,” she said. “It starts when they’re in their 40s and goes through their 70s.”

According to a description on the Cumming Playhouse’s Web site, audiences will watch as the years pass and the women “increasingly rely on one another, through advice and raucous repartee, to get through the challenges that life flings at them.”

“It’s a good girls’ night out show, but the guys will like it too,” said Tracy Lee Holden, who plays another of the women.

Another cast member, Lisa Manette Allender, said the show provides plenty of laughs, but there’s more to it than comedy.

“This one has a poignancy about it,” she said. “It is a comedy, but one with a lot of heart.”

The show’s writers — Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten — have written many Southern-inspired works.

The show’s director, who goes by just Mercury, said such productions seem to be popular at the local venue.

“Any play set in the region where it’s presented is always a big hit,” he said. “We’re able to recognize the cultural references and see bits of ourselves, our friends and family in the characters.

“This one especially is so well-written, people will have a great time with it.”

Cast member Debbi Hamm said audiences will hopefully have as much fun watching the show as she and her co-stars have had performing it.

“Every part is fun,” she said. “We take such joy and fun from watching each other, I’m sure the audience will too.”