It’s a question that many women have asked themselves: what do you do with your wedding dress once the big day is over?
Today, dozens of Calgarians are helping explore that question as their dresses take center stage in a new production from Alberta Theater Projects (ATP).
Playwright/performer Louise Casemore presents her one-woman show Undressed.
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“The show is rooted in a pretty practical real-life dilemma, which is, what do you do with a wedding dress after the wedding?” Casemore said.
“I try to consider reuse, so people can use the dresses after the big day.”
The ATP asked women to donate their wedding dresses to use for the set of Undressed.
“We were expecting maybe seven, eight — maybe 10 dresses altogether,” Casemore said. “And in 10 days, we had almost 75 out the door.”
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Taylor Matheson was among those who donated a dress.
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“It seemed like the perfect thing to do,” Matheson said. “My husband and I actually separated several years ago and so I wore the dress everywhere saying, ‘What am I going to do with it? “”
The larger-than-expected number of dresses provided plenty of creative opportunities for set designer Lane Shordee.
“I made this chandelier from about 20 to 30 wedding dresses, so it’s kind of an accumulation of all these stories, looming overhead,” Shordee said. “It’s sort of the centerpiece of the show.”
The dresses came from surprising places.
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“Some of the dresses were transported from Montana.” Casemore said. “We had mothers and daughters coming together to donate each of their dresses, people donating heirloom items.”
There were enough for Shordee to place dresses in several places around the board.
“I was really excited to have so many,” Shordee said. “They have a life and they deserve respect.”
Undressed runs at the ATP until February 13.
“I’m glad my dress can go on and do something good,” Matheson said. “This is the most appropriate shipment for this dress.”
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