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Live the dream

It took Nina Rogers three months to memorize all the lines for the one-woman show “Shirley Valentine.”

She picked the play because she and the character of Valentine have a lot in common.

“Shirley is a marathon talker, which is probably one of the biggest things we have in common,” Rogers said. “She talks nonstop for the whole two hours.”



Valentine is a middle-age Manchester housewife whose children have moved out. She finally has the time to find out who she really is. When her friend wins a trip to Greece for two, Valentine has to decide whether she can overcome her fear and reconnect with the adventurousness she had when she was a teenager.

“The moral to me is to find your dreams and live them, and don’t be frightened off by what you think you can’t do,” Rogers said. ” Life stopped her from what she wanted to do. The unknown was not what scared her, the known is what scared her.”



The hardest part of playing Valentine for Rogers was worrying about losing her British accent during the play.

“It’s mostly about pronunciation, and I had to get some terms clarified with a British friend,” she said. “But once I started doing it more and more, I lost my self-consciousness.”

Rogers will be doing the voices of other characters in the play, but without changing clothes or leaving the stage.

“There are no special effects – no nothing. Just Shirley’s voice, and when she’s her daughter, she has a snotty voice,” Rogers said. “I guess you could also call it a chick flick. There is no hunting or car crashes in the show.”

Although the audience for the play typically is woman-dominated, Rogers said members of both sexes will enjoy it. There is mature content that may not be suitable for children.

“It has a good 15-minute speech on the clitoris and her view on sex,” Rogers said. “I’m pretty darn liberal, so I don’t find it the least bit out there.”

Rogers admires the character of Valentine because she is both vulnerable and brave.

“There is a wonderful little quirkiness and mischievousness in her that I absolutely love,” she said. “She is not sappy at all and says things that she knows will shock people and does it with this innocent look on her face.”

Rogers thinks Valentine’s life is very much like all of ours.

“Her life is a rollercoaster, and she has a very fun way of talking about it to keep it interesting,” she said. “I hope I’m a lot like Shirley. I hope that I can take the people who have kept me down and wish the best for them and hope they find themselves.”


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