Beyond the “Girlfriend” with Megan Dominy and Mimsi Janis
WARNING: when you see The Wedding Party at Fringe, you will be witnessing a true(ish) story based on real people and real events. Names have been changed to protect the innocent, but the characters and circumstances depicted in the play are all inspired by us—our friends and our lives. And trust us—truth is stranger (and more hilarious) than fiction.
We were looking for representation– in film, in TV, in stories. If we held a mirror up to the shows we were watching, we couldn’t really see ourselves at all. Those shows were all about men—men who had complex friendships, familial ties, story arcs…but the women? Were girlfriends. Or wives. Or worse: even shows that purport to be about women depend on “frenemies”— women who don’t really like each other and are probably competing for a guy. We wanted our art to reflect our life. Where was our “female community” represented?
WTF!?! These were very well-written and respected TV shows. (It’s not like we were watching Entourage and questioning why no groupies or stripper characters were fleshed out.) The women certainly didn’t represent the fabulous, complex, funny women we knew and loved!
So we decided to write a play about those women—the vibrant, diverse ladies who made up our inner circle. It seemed a natural extension, as we are both stage actors, and theatre also suffers from a lack of female voices. The characters are directly inspired by the fabulous women who were my bridesmaids. Mimsi and I have known them for years. And you know what? They’re damn funny. Even the craziest plot twists are based on actual events…though admittedly, we might have amped it up for the stage.
We ended up with a show that represented us. It’s simultaneously a love letter to the women we cherish and a reflection of the struggles we’re facing in our young-ish adulthood—all with a wicked sense of humor. If you thought you’d have life figured out by 30…If you’ve ever experienced the feeling of “second adolescence”…If you’ve ever wondered when your Facebook newsfeed went from party pics to marriage proposals and pregnancy reveals…then you’ll appreciate The Wedding Party.
Good luck determining the facts from the fiction, but it will be a great party to crash!
Mimsi Janis is an actor and teaching artist who has written many children’s plays, but this is only her second adventure in writing for adults. You can see her on stage in the DC area. She holds an MFA from the Catholic University of America.
Megan Dominy is an actress who can been seen on local stages. She received her MFA from the Catholic University of America. Other writing credits include “Sounds from Silence” and “Lolita, Reinterp.”