2022-23 season

2022-23 season

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

This Rockey’s a True Fighter

Debra Rockey (right) plays Vernadette,
who bonds with her swim club "sisters"
including Erin Osgood (left) as Lexie
That Debra Rockey goes by her last name might not surprise you. “Rockey” suits her personality and physical presence to a tee.  But what’s even cooler is how well her name fits her character in the Dixie Swim Club.  Rockey plays Vernadette Simms, a true fighter and survivor if ever there was one.  In Dixie, five college swim teammates reunite at an Outer Banks beach house for a girls-only weekend every August that is always full of fun, fights, and twists of fate.  

Rockey offers comic relief as Vernadette, a hard luck case who has a deadbeat husband, a felonious son, and a daughter who bounces between cults.  Rockey describes Vernadette as “a solid woman - physically and mentally.  I think Vern knows that the way you make God laugh is by telling him your plans.  She just keeps on going through everything that is sent her way.  Nothing will get Vern down and what keeps her going are her swim club, her biscuits, and her memories.”

Despite her bad luck, as Rockey says, “Vernadette is a survivor. She may not be the cutest character or the best dressed or have any waist (she hasn't seen hers in years) but she is as solid as a rock. And, she lives for August in the Outer Banks with her four fabulous friends.  It is the one thing that she can count on - the team that always wins, in and out of the water.”  Similarly, of her fellow actors, Rockey says, “I love my ‘swim team’.  We have been working together for several months now - filming the videos, eating, rehearsing, eating - and it feels like we have known each other for twenty years. Each of us are magically a living version of our Dixie Swim Club self.   Typically I perform musical theater, so it has been a bit strange to be on stage and not singing my heart out.  But know that on the inside, I am singing - 'cause I'm just thrilled to be a member of this great cast and to share this story with our audience.”  

While this is her Barn debut, Rockey has performed throughout Michigan – in Grand Rapids' Civic, Circle, and Actors Theaters, and Novi and Ann Arbor Civic Theaters.  She has also appeared on Detroit's Boxfest and Second City stages.  Favorite productions include Annie, Sweeney Todd, The Producers, Anne of Green Gables, Baby, and Divine Stella Divine.  Her favorite roles so far are "Stella" in Follies, and rich "Lady Cucuface" in Madeline.  

The Dixie Swim Club runs October 5th – 27th.  Reserved seats for this comedy sponsored by Mall, Malisow & Cooney, P.C. are available now at www.farmingtonplayers.org or at the box office (248) 553-2955.  

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