Top Girls production wows viewers despite COVID-19 setbacks


Jessica Blakley/The JTAC

Two actresses for the Top Girls production on stage at the final dress rehearsal before the production began on Sept. 22, 2020.

Theatre at Tarleton put on four showings of Top Girls last week.

Top Girls is a play by Caryl Churchill written in 1982.

The play features the main character, Marlene, played by Cheyenne Nash. Marlene is a strong-willed businesswoman, who is passionate about women being successful in their careers.

The play dives into the roles of women in modern society and what it takes for a woman to be successful in it.

The play also features Sarah Adams, who plays Isabella, Nell and Joyce; Eme Looney who plays Pope Joan and Louise, Kimberly Bills who plays Lady Nijo and Mrs. Kidd, Rylie Fischer who play Patient Griselda, Kit, and Shana, Cassie Jacobs who plays Dull Gret and Angie, and Madelynn Henson who plays the waitress, Winn and Jeanine.

Theatre at Tarleton originally planned for a spring performance, however due to COVID-19, the show was cancelled and then later postponed to the fall. Despite the pandemic and thanks to the approval of Tarleton’s COVID-19 Committee, Theatre at Tarleton was able to press onward to perform the show.

The set was moved outside to ensure plenty of space and room for social distancing. Due to weather, the first show had to be moved inside the theatre, however, the cast and crew of the show were very motivated working to ensure the safety of all present.

The seats were limited so the audience could be properly social distanced. Masks were worn by the audience and crew members. The cast members were not wearing masks, but instead were wearing small face shields. These face shields were not the big flashy ones you see, but ones that only covered the nose and mouth and were hardly noticeable. These small face shields allowed the cast members to perform safely together while not drawing attention away from their costume and character.

The set was simple yet elegant. It featured multiple banners that had various women of different backgrounds and time periods. These banners brought essential context to the moral of the story. The crew worked hard and effectively when moving and making sure all the technicalities, such as lighting and music, were in order. The cast, as always, put on a wonderful performance and showed the enormous talent held by each cast member.

Given the circumstances, the cast and crew worked incredibly well when putting on Top Girls. The resilience and perseverance showed by the cast and crew is truly inspiring. Despite the situation, the cast and crew put on a play that displayed important and life-applicable messages. Continuing the production of the play not only allowed the cast and crew to do what they love, but also apply their education in a practical way.