Preview: ‘Painted Ladies: Bosses of the Wild West’ at Capital Fringe

by Dara Gold

Indulge in the vices of the Wild West and find out that these painted ladies are far more than meet the eye! Welcome to the tale of the unsung and unexpected lives of the women that were essential to the business growth and expansion of American Wild West. These “badly behaved,” sharp, business savvy, multitalented powerhouses were the saloon ladies. This interactive play brings you right into the saloon as a customer with our “oh so talented” painted ladies. Come and discover that these ladies are waaay ahead of their time!

The world premiere of Painted Ladies: Bosses of the Wild West (“Painted Ladies”) will be at the 2018 Capital Fringe Festival. In this historical fiction comedic drama, the women of the Wild West are center stage.

Cast and crew from top left to bottom right: Marketa S. Nicholson, Dara A. Gold, Carmen Hernandez, Ian Nace, Merancia Noelsaint, and Alex Wiggins.

You will get the benefits of an interactive play while following the story lines of these strong, sexy, and independent saloon ladies. There’s Madame Josephine, performed by Marketa S. Nicholson, who has hustled her whole life to become the owner of her own saloon. There’s Lou-Anne Rose, performed by Dara A. Gold, the Saloon’s star and Josephine’s #2 who will do anything to maintain praise she thinks she deserves. And then there’s newcomer Dahlia, performed by Carmen Hernandez, who stirs things up for better or for worse.

We wanted to create a play that demonstrated the pivotal and exciting role that women played in the growing pains of the U.S., as it expanded westward. Usually westerns focus on the cowboys, well not this time! The painted ladies have rich and complex personalities with ulterior and business driven motives at every turn. This tale truly gives the women of the wild west a voice, a narrative that usually is not heard.

One way the show accomplishes this is by having the talented Ian Nace performing all four male roles. Our goal is that casting 1 actor for all 4 male characters to utilize the device of “the 1-dimensional male character. The “1-dimensional” device is one that women have been subjected to throughout the history of the arts.

Too Much Damn (TMD) Theater strives to create audience entrancing shows inspired and executed by women’s voices, participation (in every aspect of theater) and experiences that have been underproduced and watered down. We believe “Painted Ladies” will add to the growing list of such fun and engaging roles. Painted Ladies contains themes that are as relevant today as they were in the 1860s; such as what it is to be a woman in a man’s world, to be a boss, control your own destiny, actually have a say in finances, the wage gap, the double standard of sexual desire, and what do you know, the age-old debate about the freedom to control your own body.

If you want to know more about this show, visit TMD Theater’s Facebook page where we are posting about our rehearsal processing, ticket information, and of course sharing fun posts about these kickass painted ladies. We’ve just launched a gofundme campaign (where you can also see a teaser video for the show). If you want to support this local independent production and be a part of the saloon, share our show posts, gofundme campaign, and donate whatever you can.

You can see the show at the Orange Venue – Christ United Methodist Church, 900 4th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024. Performances are on Tues. July 10 at 8:45 PM, Thurs. July 12 at 7:00 PM, Sun. July 15 at 6:30 PM, Sat. July 21 at 3:30 PM, and Fri. July 27 at 9:45 PM. Tickets are available at or call (866) 811-4111.

TMD Theater is led by three fearless women that want you to love and fight for theater as much as they do. Through the newest, hippest works from local artists, we produce storylines that make each audience member invested in the life of the characters.

Painted Ladies Features: Marketa Seliyah Nicholson as Madame Josephine, Dara A. Gold as Lou-Anne Rose, Carmen Hernandez as Dahlia Deno/Victoria/Devinne, Ian Nace as Sal, Sheriff, Jim, and Leroy.

Our Wonderful Crew:
Playwrights/Producers: Dara A. Gold and Marketa Seliyah Nicholson
Director: Merancia Noelsaint
Tech Crew: Alex Wiggins
Associate Producer/Tech Crew: Montavia Johnson
Jr. Producer: Devinne J.

This production is presented as a part of the 2018 Capital Fringe Festival, a program of the Washington, DC non-profit Capital Fringe.

Painted Ladies: Bosses of the Wild West plays from July 10, 2018 to July, 27, 2018 at Christ United Methodist Church: Orange- 900 4th Street SW, Washington, DC. Capital Fringe Festival buttons and tickets can be purchased online.


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