In its eighth year, Panties in a Twist (PIAT or Panties for short) is thriving more than ever. For the first time in its history, the forty-two women of PIAT will be taking the stage of the Harrison Opera House (fun fact: our largest venue yet!). How does such a big, beautiful, HILARIOUS production come together in only a few months? Here’s a sneak peak at the process.
This is my second year in Panties so, when I went to auditions I had an idea of what to expect. Last year I had to read while acting as a sexy construction worker, so I wore plaid just in case. I showed up a few minutes early and the theater was already filled with a variety of women from the 757 warming up and nervously chatting. I saw some familiar faces and new faces, all with smiles. With an audition there is usually an underlying sense of competition: the people sitting next to you are going after the same role, what will they do better than you? With PIAT, the air of competition is gone. Everyone is supportive, even when realizing they may not make it this year. Women I had never met were wishing me luck, and I was doing the same for them.
The only agonizing part of the Panties process is the wait for casting. Refreshing your email thousands of times, jumping at each “bing” from your phone, texting friends “have you heard anything yet?? you know you’ll make it!!” every five minutes. Even though I had done this before, I was nervous. Everyone at auditions was so talented and there were almost a hundred of us! All of the suspense made receiving the cast list that much more exciting. I had been selected along with 41 of the funniest and most talented women in Hampton Roads! I let my friends know to add February 16th to their calendars so they wouldn’t miss the biggest production of the Push Comedy year. I have performed in a few places in Hampton Roads, but this would be the biggest venue yet. Incidentally, I crossed off my husband’s birthday: sorry baby! This is your present!
Since we will be at the Harrison Opera House, our theme for photos this year was a night at the opera and it was HOT! Everyone looked beautiful in their gowns, playing with silly accessories and adding signature red lipstick. This cast has definitely proven that the opera is for anyone!
Once rehearsals started, it was back to business. Running lines, talking costumes, figuring out blocking (AKA where you move and stand in the scene), and munching on delicious snacks provided by Mary Veverka, our theater mom and literal angel. Have you tried her funeral potatoes?? If not you need to find the recipe STAT. But I digress…no matter what age or background, everyone understands the hustle. Many of these women have families, full time jobs, and other comedy rehearsals or performances – yet they still make it to rehearsal every night. On the days I am tired and cranky, rehearsal isn’t that bad because the women are awesome and understanding and there is always a cookie in my hand. Did I mention the snacks Mary makes??? Working with literally forty other comedians makes it hard to have a frown on your face.
The question I always get is “Panties in a Twist is the largest all female production in the United States and possibly the world, everyone is so amazing and talented, how do you all get along?” Even when our cycles sync up (which they do, it’s insane, the alpha uterus has not been found yet this year) and we are at the legal limit of consumption for Midol, there is only support. People make the assumption that women can’t stand each other but plot twist: we are out here supporting each other. The PIAT cast is arguably the most supportive environment I have ever been in PLUS everyone is hilarious. Can it be Panties season all year?
In a sense, even after the cast party is over it is always Panties season. After my first year I ended up writing, collaborating, and performing with so many new friends. New friend or old friend, newbie or veteran, I look forward to taking the stage with my forty-one castmates this year. These are the funniest ladies in the 757 putting on a show that is written, directed, and casted by all ladies! If you miss it, the FOMO will be real. Support local comedy and support women of the 757!
Join us on February 16 at The Harrison Opera House in the NEON District at 8pm. You can get your tickets online through Ticketmaster or in person at The Scope or Push Comedy Theater Box Offices. Date Night, Gals Night, Boys Night, Mom Night, or Meeting New Gals Night, this show is not one you’ll want to miss!
Panties in a Twist is sponsored by 80/20 Burger Bar, Sway Creative Labs, Hall | MileOne Autogroup, The Torch Bistro, Pariser Dermatology Specialists and produced by local comedy legends, The Pushers and the Push Comedy Theater.
For more info about Panties in a Twist, contact Sean Devereux at firstname.lastname@example.org