‘Intimate Apparel’ to be staged Oct. 5-8 at WCU

The student cast from WCU’s production of “Intimate Apparel” includes (from left) Sarina Montgomery, Najha Kay Forbey and Lea Parker.

The student cast from WCU’s production of “Intimate Apparel” includes (from left) Sarina Montgomery, Najha Kay Forbey and Lea Parker.

Issues of race and class status in New York City at the turn of the 20th century will be explored as Western Carolina University’s School of Stage and Screen presents “Intimate Apparel” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, through Saturday, Oct. 8.

The second production of WCU’s 2016-17 Mainstage theater series, the play will be staged in the studio theater of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

The play tells the story of Esther, an African-American seamstress who sews intimate apparel for clients ranging from socialites to prostitutes. As the years pass, she fears she may never marry, but then she begins receiving love letters from a Caribbean man named George, and she opens her heart to the possibilities of romance and a future of happiness.

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage, “Intimate Apparel” was the winner of the 2004 New York Drama Critics Circle Award.

The role of Esther will be played by Najha Kay Forbey, a senior from Monroe who is majoring in musical theatre, and George will be portrayed by D.J. Williams, a junior theatre major from Indian Trail. Other members of the cast and their roles are Sarina Montgomery (Mayme), a senior from Waxhaw majoring in theatre with a concentration in acting; Lea Parker (Mrs. Van Buren), a senior musical theatre major from Decatur, Georgia; Tayler Harris (Mrs. Dickson), a junior musical theatre major from Pineville; and Adam King (Mr. Marks), a sophomore from Raleigh majoring in theatre with a concentration in acting.

The play is being directed by Brenda Lilly, an assistant professor in the School of Stage and Screen who previously directed WCU productions of “Blithe Spirit,” “Peter Pan,” “A Doll’s House” and “Pump Boys and Dinettes.”

Students taking on behind-the-scenes roles for the production are: set design, Brigham Johnson; light design, Jennifer Stadelman; costume design, Molly Morgan; hair and make-up design, Holly Records; stage manager, Kirsten Smitherman; assistant stage manager, Kyla Little; sound design, Jonathan Partin; and props masters, Arianna Evans and William Price.

Bruce Frazier, WCU’s Belk Distinguished Professor in Commercial and Electronic Music, has written an original underscore of ragtime music for the play.

Tickets for “Intimate Apparel” are $16 for adults; $11 for WCU faculty and staff, and seniors; and $7 (advance) and $10 (day of show) for students. Tickets are available online at bardoartscenter.wcu.edu or by calling 828-227-2479.