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Unlikely friendships, arts and kids: Soapbox Players presents 'The Savannah Sipping Society'

The Soapbox Players' production "The Savannah Sipping Society" features Helene Olson-Reed, Julie Martin, Sara Shannon adn Anna Ostendorf. David Oakes / Contributor

Soapbox Players presents "The Savannah Sipping Society," a comedy written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten and directed by Min MartinOakes. This production is a fundraiser for ArtReach and SoundStrings. The show runs May 18-19 and 24-26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Hobgoblin Music Loft on Highway 19 in Red Wing. Reservations are not accepted and seating is limited; tickets are $9.99.

"The Savannah Sipping Society" is a comedy about a group of middle aged women with little in common, other than the fact that they are all experiencing difficult times and starting over. These four women cultivate a strong friendship over their differences and similarities (as well as a few cocktails) and use those differences to help each other grow. Jinx, played by Anna Ostendorf acts as a life coach to Marlafaye (Julie Martin), Randa (Sara Shannon), and Dot (Helene Olson-Reed), convincing them to experience new things. Eventually the story comes full circle, and the other three friends offer life changing advice to Jinx.

Julie Martin says the message of this play is "Make the most of the time you have." According to Anna Ostendorf, "It's the happiness that counts. The four women have new experiences, some wonderful, some terrible, but they learn about themselves and each other in the process. If you laugh half as much watching it as we did rehearsing, you'll have a great time."

Director, Min MartinOakes, points out that the quartet are "unlikely friends," a quote from the character Randa says it best for her "It's never too late to meet new old friends."

During the run of this production, Soapbox will match donations that will be split between ArtReach and Sound Strings up to $1,000 total. Marcy Watzl, [resident of Soapbox Players, states that Soapbox "is gratified to be supporting summer arts projects for children in our community. Every year we offer scholarships for children to participate in the Young Peoples' Summer Theatre Intensive. This production will support ArtReach and SoundStrings, so please come see the show, laugh and cry with these women, and open up your wallets to help enhance the lives of our local children with the arts. It's a great girls' night out or date show."

ArtReach of Red Wing has a mission to promote creativity and provide quality visual arts opportunities to people of all ages and abilities. The mission of SoundStrings is to support string music education opportunities for Red Wing youth. For more information on either program, visit artreachredwing.org or www.soundstrings.org, respectively.

Soapbox Players was established in 2004; its mission statement is: Soapbox Players offers sometimes juicy, always thought provoking, financially accommodating old and new works of live theater that will keep you on the edge of your seat and in front of your mind.

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