An original Southern comedy by a north Georgia playwright will take center stage at the Cumming Playhouse in February. “Southern Sirens,” by Dahlonega resident Alicia Lane Dutton, will run at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays from Feb. 8-25.
Focusing on the misadventures of four feisty, middle-aged Southern ladies – Grace, Lilah, Celia, Kristin and Bridget – “Southern Sirens” provides plenty of laughs, as well as tender moments, for audiences to enjoy.
During the group’s annual pilgrimage to the beach, Grace discovers a note to her husband from the local home wrecker, Dixie Lynn Lee, asking him to consider a salacious proposition. The ladies then become consumed with devising a plan to lure Dixie Lynn to the beach house so they can show her the error of her ways.
An actress who began writing full-time after the birth of her third child as a way to work from home, Dutton said the women of “Southern Sirens” possess qualities that she found appealing in real life.
“I always heard you should write what you know,” she said. “I was a middle-aged mother of three who’d always wanted to do a girls’ beach trip every year, but because I moved around a lot I didn’t have a core group of friends to do that with.
“In ‘Southern Sirens’ I created a group of women I’d love to go on a beach trip with. All the women are independent but have not lost their Southern genteelness.”
And being one herself, Dutton knows a lot about strong Southern women.
Originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama and having resided in New Orleans, Key West, Montana, Alaska and Berlin before settling in Dahlonega, Dutton said she is very proud of her Southern roots. She has written several other plays, musicals, novels and screenplays, all of which focus on Southern culture.
She has garnered numerous awards for her screenplays at many film festivals, including the Charleston International Film Festival, the Austin Revolution Film Festival, Broad Humor in Los Angeles, the Lindsay Film Festival and the Boomtown Music and Film Festival, among others.
In addition to being produced to sell-out audiences at venues throughout the South, “Southern Sirens” was selected for a New York reading by the Bechdel Group, and was presented on New Play Day at Wingate University in North Carolina.
While Dutton is no stranger to the Cumming Playhouse, having performed there as Linda Porter in the May 2017 production of “Red, Hot and Cole,” this will be the first time for one of her shows to be presented there.
“I fell in love with the venue [during ‘Red, Hot and Cole’], and I think the Cumming Playhouse audiences will definitely appreciate the Southern humor of ‘Southern Sirens,’” she said.
They’ll also appreciate the quality cast.
“’Southern Sirens’ has an all-female cast, and the majority of the actresses have degrees in theater; one of the cast members has even been featured on HBO,” Dutton said. “I am directing the show and this cast has been wonderful to work with. They are extremely professional and are so very well-suited to their characters.
“If you liked ‘Steel Magnolias,’ ‘The Dixie Swim Club’ or ‘The Savannah Sipping Society,’ you’ll love ‘Southern Sirens,’” she added.
Tickets to “Southern Sirens” are $25, or $22.50 for veterans, seniors 60 and over, students age 18 and under, and groups of 25 or more. They can be purchased at www.playhousecumming.com or by calling (770) 781-9178.