WomensWork returns with witty ‘The Oldest Profession’


Welcome back WomensWork, the theatre collaborative of “mature” Rhode Island actresses who search for and produce works that provide them with opportunities to practice their profession.

Following the pandemic break, they have partnered with Burbage Theatre Company to present Rhode Islander Paula Vogel’s “The Oldest Profession” directed by Trinity’s own Anne Scurria.

Jeff Church and Lynne Collinson are the producers.

Five aging prostitutes sitting on a bench.

Sounds like the beginning of a raunchy poem.

It is the beginning of the end for five practitioners of the world’s oldest profession.

But they are not going out without a fight, or at least one last song and dance.

Rather than just talking about their aging clients, how things were in the good old days and how they are going to survive on $20 a trick, Vogel has given each of them a song and a dance.

What a way to go!

It’s the 1980s and much of the business has moved inside.

Mae, the “Madame” of the group, sets the rules, collects the money and keeps the peace.

Things have not been easy for the group. Should they move to New York City? Should they retire, as many of their “family friends” have?

Their profession opens the door for some funny one-liners… and some corny clichés. Beneath the humor is pathos.

The cast is terrific, with each character taking on a different personality and making the most of their “departures” to a better place. In addition to Paula Faber as Mae, Margaret Melozzi plays Ursula. Rae Mancini is Lillian, Jeannie Carson is Edna, and Juli Parker is Vera.

“The Oldest Profession” is at Burbage Theatre, 58 Blackstone Ave., Pawtucket, through Feb. 19. Call 484-0355 for reservations.

The play is an hour and 40 minutes without intermission.


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