How often do you get to say “I’m fighting my maid of honor regularly” and have it be completely and totally normal?

Back in 2012, my friend Jeannine – also the founder of one of the theater companies I worked for – placed a new show on the company’s calendar – ‘Wedding Horror Stories’. Several of us had come to a similar idea independently – I had almost pitched a Bridesmaids parody to another of my theatre companies, and the topic also came up in some production meetings. The goal was to produce a show that provided an opportunity for a strong, mostly-female cast and to make cathartic use of the many terrible wedding experiences we’ve all been a part of.

As luck would have it, several months later I got engaged and invited Jeannine to be my maid of honor. A few months after that, I joined the WHS cast under Jeannine as director.

This led to all manner of ironic strangeness this summer. For the poster campaign, I ended up portraying a brawler bridesmaid, complete with giant purple shiner around my eye.

This image also made it into the Seattle Times, as it happens – they heard about this strange intersection of life and art and profiled us for the paper over Fourth of July weekend. It’s actually a nice little writeup: Seattle improv troupe to stage real ‘Wedding Horror Stories’

The stories we got ran the gamut:

  • In one scene, ironically, I got to play a maid of honor who dressed up as Kermit to serenade her bride to “It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green” since she was marrying a man with the last name Green.
  • I played a maid of honor who drank champagne at a wedding for the first time only to get blackout drunk, drink from a fountain, and pass out under the head table to wake up abandoned the next morning.
  • A different character of mine got married to a man dressed as Elvis by a minister in a gargoyle costume at a place called Trollhaugen. A situation that ACTUALLY HAPPENED. The troll eating the flower girl, however, may not have actually happened. We can only surmise.
  • Various groomsmen, strippers, redneck brides, violent mothers, and the like.

We have some photos from opening night courtesy of Hieroglyph Photography – check them out on the photographer’s site.

In the end, I wish I had spent more time documenting the stories we got, as they were pretty insane and great fun to play. Most audience members found the experience duly cathartic – an appropriate and semi-anonymous way to share their pain. Here’s hoping the show comes back in future summers – after all, I have 5 weddings in 2013 and there will be plenty of catharsis I need on my own!

Lauren Bond, Cheryl Platz (with a black eye), and Christine Rippi (sadly in the corner with a broken rose in her bouquet) pose as bridesmaids in a promo shot for “Wedding Horror Stories”, an improvised comedy produced by Seattle Experimental Theatre.