Five Actresses Tackle 40 Roles in ‘Parallel Lives’

“Parallel Lives” is the final major production for the Southwestern College Theatre Department this semester. Written by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy, this comedy features a series of 18 vignettes, spoofing just about every aspect of life as a modern female.  Five actresses play a combined total of 40 roles of varying ages, sexes, and

Parallel Lives


“Parallel Lives” will be performed April 11-13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Helen Graham Little Theatre on the lower level of the Christy Administration building. For tickets or information, call the Southwestern College box office at 620-221-7720 or 620-229-6171. You can also visit their website at

“The biggest challenge the girls have is developing several characters instead of having all this time to just develop one,” said Nikia Smith, stage manager. “From the perspective of stage manager, keeping track of who is who is a challenge in and of itself.”

Elementary education freshman Emily Tilton says she auditioned simply because she loves to act, and is having a blast developing so many unique characters.
“It’s hard to make sure a character doesn’t slip into the wrong voice, but I love playing them all,” Tilton says.

“Another challenge that comes with playing multiple roles is embracing the different dialects and body movements each character has,” says senior Danielle Morford. “Switching back and forth between them requires a lot of focus and practice.”
Morford plays many roles, ranging from a mermaid to a migrant farm worker. She also gets to perform a unique scene, where she humorously pantomimes a woman’s entire morning routine. While playing such a variety of characters can present challenges, the actors are also finding it rewarding.

“It’s not just memorizing lines, but it’s memorizing the attitudes of every character,” says junior Juliette Lowrance, whose roles range from a ditzy college girl on a date to Dumbo the elephant’s mother in a therapy session. “I love it.”


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