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The Sweet Delilah Swim Club

Presented by The Gallery Players, Inc.
Ashley Phipps
Stage Manager
Nicole Pietrantoni
Wes Joyce
Ashley Joyce
Amy Chadwell

Carmen Deese
Kelly Durfey

Christina Hrinko
Summer Nettleman
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Director's Note

In March of 2020, the world as we knew it came to a standstill when we were put on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The effect this had on everyone’s lives was indelible. The theatre world, in particular, suffered. Millions of people in the arts industry suddenly found themselves not only without jobs, but without purpose. 

Always hungry to create, however, the theatre community rose to the occasion like a Phoenix from the ashes. Over the past fourteen months, we have seen the world of theatre adapt to a new performance medium — virtual productions. While many are quick to point out its flaws, I think it is necessary to embrace its advantages. This new art form allows people from all over the world to connect with each other and collaborate with people they would never have had the opportunity to work with otherwise. Friends and family who do not live in close proximity to actors finally have the chance to see them perform. New friendships are forged. Most importantly, our creativity is challenged and, just like the Phoenix, we find the world of theatre regenerating in new and exciting ways yet again. 

It has been a privilege to work with these women (all five actresses, as well as our stage manager) in conjunction with Gallery Players to bring “The Sweet Delilah Swim Club” to life. We hope that you, too, will be charmed by these resilient and funny ladies whose decades-long friendship has proven to be one of the most stable, enjoyable, and meaningful elements of their lives. If the past year has taught us anything, it is that there is something very special about the bonds between friends, and those deep and important connections must be celebrated as often as possible. 

Thank you so much for tuning into this performance. We hope you enjoy watching as much as we have enjoyed creating. 


With gratitude,

Ashley Phipps, Director

THE STORY: Five Southern women, whose friendships began many years ago on their college swim team, set aside a long weekend every August to recharge those relationships. Free from husbands, kids, and jobs, they meet at the same beach cottage, the “Sweet Delilah” on North Carolina’s Outer Banks to catch up, laugh, and meddle in each other’s lives. THE SWEET DELILAH SWIM CLUB focuses on four of those weekends and spans a period of thirty-three years. Sheree, the spunky team captain, desperately tries to maintain her organized and “perfect” life, and continues to be the group’s leader. Dinah, the wisecracking overachiever, is a career dynamo. But her victories in the courtroom are in stark contrast to the frustrations of her personal life. Lexie, pampered and outspoken, is determined to hold on to her looks and youth as long as possible. She enjoys being married—over and over and over again. The self-deprecating and acerbic Vernadette, acutely aware of the dark cloud that hovers over her life, has decided to just give in and embrace the chaos. And sweet, eager-to-please Jeri Neal experiences a late entry into motherhood that takes them all by surprise. As their lives unfold and the years pass, these women increasingly rely on one another, through advice and raucous repartee, to get through the challenges (men, sex, marriage, parenting, divorce, aging) that life flings at them. And when fate throws a wrench into one of their lives in the second act, these friends, proving the enduring power of “teamwork” rally ’round their own with the strength and love that takes this comedy in a poignant and surprising direction. THE SWEET DELILAH SWIM CLUB is the story of these five unforgettable women—a hilarious and touching comedy about friendships that last forever…

Who's Who

Meet the Company

Amy Chadwell (Jeri Neal McFeely)

Amy is so excited to be rejoining the theatre world! Her last appearance was also with Gallery Players in Christmas Belles.  Amy is a librarian turned stay-at-home mom who lives in Whitsett.  She would like to thank her husband and kids for their support and also the wonderful director and cast for making this such a hilarious and memorable experience! 

Carmen Deese (Vernadette Simms)

Carmen Deese has enjoyed her first Jones-Hope-Wooten ensemble show. Since the pandemic began, Carmen has been grateful for the chance to act virtually, which means working with awesome casts while also wearing sweatpants and bedroom shoes.  Favorite roles include Mrs. Mary Haines in The Women, Doris Walker in A Miracle on 34th Street, Smitty in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Charity Barnum in Barnum, and Mrs. Dubose in To Kill a Mockingbird.  When not on the stage, (virtual or in the flesh), Carmen works in HR in the manufacturing setting and is married to a very non-Burl like husband (Bill) and is the stepmom to very upbeat stepsons.

Kelly Durfey (Lexie Richards)

Kelly Durfey is very excited to perform in her first show with The Gallery Players! She was most recently on the stage with Orange Community Players, as Mrs.Corry in Mary Poppins. Some favorite roles from the past few years include Tatiana Racon in A Comedy of Tenors, Diana Nichols in California Suite, and Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls. She recently directed The Wizard of Oz with Backyard Theatricals, an outdoor theater company that she started last year. She enjoys both acting and directing, along with teaching various theater classes, piano, and voice. She is so grateful to be performing with the amazing women in Swim Club, under the direction of the ever amazing and incomparable Ashley Phipps! 

Christina Hrinko (Dinah Grayson)

Christina Hrinko was last seen on stage as Mother Superior in Sister Act! Some of her favorite roles include Kala in Tarzan, Lucy in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, and Marian Paroo in The Music Man. She has a BA in Theatre from Lynchburg College, and a MA in Educational Theatre from NYU.  After taking a break from acting, she is grateful to work with such amazing people. Much thanks to Ashley for this incredible opportunity! Love to her family, and especially her husband, Scott, and her kids William and Ava.

Summer Nettleman (Sheree Hollinger)

Summer Nettleman started doing shows with such fun hits as “The Boys Next Door”, and “The Taming of the Shrew”. In the meantime, she has been raising her own two kids in NC and negotiating corporate contracts as she and her family travel the country full time in their fifth-wheel RV. She is so excited to be able to dip her toe back in theater, especially in such an interesting new way. She would like to thank all of her fabulous fellow cast members, director, and producers for this opportunity, and to go on record as a true blooded southerner who will not be giving up her biscuits any time soon.

Ashley Phipps (Director)

Ashley Phipps has been acting, directing, and choreographing in and for educational, community, and professional theatre for longer than she cares to admit being alive. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Meredith College and is also the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Sweet Charity Productions, a virtual theatre company that raises money for nonprofit organizations. This is the twenty-fifth production she has directed in thirteen years. Ashley would like to thank Gallery for this opportunity, and to express her undying gratitude for the five talented, hilarious, kind, strong women who have given life to this cast of characters.

Nicole Pietrantoni (Stage Manager)

Nicole Pietrantoni is very excited to be a part of The Sweet Delilah Swim Club. After doing backstage work on several shows in college (sending love to the Le Moyne College costume department!), Nicole has taken a break from the theater scene for the past few years. She's very grateful to Ashley Phipps for the opportunity to get involved in the theater scene again! She has loved working with these talented ladies who are truly masters of their craft.