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Get to Know Can I Say Yes to That Dress? with Production Photos & Words from the Playwright!

Sarah Shippobotham in Can I Say Yes to That Dress? Sarah Shippobotham in Can I Say Yes to That Dress? Todd Collins Photography
October 17, 2023

Only a Handful of Performances Left!

Get to know playwright and star of Can I Say Yes to That Dress?, Sarah Shippobotham, in her own words!

Then checkout the gorgeous production photos by Todd Collins Photography below.

"I wrote the very first part of Can I Say Yes to That Dress? way back in 2012 when I was at a clown workshop. We were tasked with making a short piece in 15 minutes that explored rhythm and patterns that we would then share with

the rest of the class. The piece could be physical or verbal – our choice. I had been toying with an idea about marriage and what made the perfect partner for a while so this felt like a wonderful opportunity to experiment with it. I sat outside our classroom on some steps and the words poured out. I would say things aloud to check if the effect they were having were as I intended and then go back to scribbling. At the end of our 15 minutes, we went back into class and shared.

I have very strong memories of a lot of laughter when I did my piece and I remember my clown teacher almost falling out of his chair with pleasure. I was thrilled by the reception, and was reminded why I became an actor. For various reasons the piece went into a drawer only to be talked about as the one-woman show I wanted to write. Various friends tried to help me write the show, but my supreme ability to procrastinate always defeated me (and them). Finally, I got the pushes I needed to commit to finishing this piece.

In 2022, I cavalierly applied to the Great Salt Lake Fringe without a finished script and a very kind friend challenged me as to why I would drag the beginning of the show out to read to people without ever writing more. This friend asked did I only want momentary validation, or did I actually have something to say? The sting I felt at that left no more room for excuses, plus I had been accepted by Great Salt Lake Fringe and paid money to be able to participate, so I had to buckle down and get on with it. Three weeks later, I had a first draft, a wedding dress from the internet, a music stand, and a chair, and two dates on which to perform the piece.

I found I have a lot to say about feminism, relationships, perfection, love, strong language, sexual references, body confidence, body hair, and aging. When the time to perform came, I had to do it script in hand because the writer refused to stop writing it, the actor never learned it, and the director was pretty useless! (They were all me by the way). Luckily the people who came to hear the piece were very positive about it and Cynthia Fleming invited me to do a New Play Sounding Series reading of it in February which gave me the chance to develop the script further with the help of a good director and dramaturg. People who came seemed to like the piece too and SLAC opted to produce the show!

What has been particularly lovely is that this piece, aimed at women of my generation and inspired by the young people I have been fortunate to teach, seems to speak to more identities than I thought possible.I am glad that it is more relevant than I thought it would be. I hope it gives people a laugh as well as giving them room to think. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to do this in such a supportive, creative environment. What a joy to get to practice what I teach!"

Sarah Shippobotham, Playwright

For more information or to purchase tickets now, please click here.

All photos by Todd Collins Photography, courtesy of Salt Lake Acting Company.

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