February 19, 2018
Act One delivers funny, moving rendition of Steel Magnolias
Hearing that former Cowley College theatre director Dejon Ewing used to have her students perform Steel Magnolias, current theatre director Cara Kem brought back the tradition by having students in the Act One Drama Club perform Steel Magnolias, written by Robert Harling, February 15-17 in the Robert Brown Theatre.
This year’s production was staged in the round, thus having the audience on the stage and bringing them right into the action.
“This show has been a staple in Cowley Theatre History,” Kem said. “We wanted to bring back the tradition but put our own spin on it, so we performed Steel Magnolias for the first time, in the round. I found it made for an intimate setting and really connected with our audience.”
Kem was assisted by technical director of theatre John Rohr and student director Julian Cornejo.
Steel Magnolias is a beautiful story of love, friendship, and life. Six longtime friends in the small town of Chinquapin, Louisiana fill Truvy's hair salon with laughter, gossip, and tears. Truvy was played by Unique Wilson. Truvy's new assistant, Annelle, played by Cassidy Harriger, sociable M'Lynn, played by Antoniette Morris, and her pretty daughter bride-to-be Shelby, played by Courtney Wallace, as well as the hysterical bickering Ouiser, played by Jazmynn Burris, and Clairee, played by Raeven Blackbull, support each other with love, laughter, and beauty products. As hair is dried, dyed and styled, women's lives unfold and show the meaning of true friendship.
“The characters in Steel Magnolias are strong and complex,” Kem said. “There are only six women in the entire show, so while the amount of dialogue is great, the relationships among the young women is even more important. Finding the perfect cast was the biggest challenge. Putting the show together, helping the women find their chemistry while learning their lines, all within a three-week rehearsal period was even more challenging. The students stepped up to the plate, and with John Rohr at my side, we produced, what I felt, was a funny and very moving piece. I am sad to see it end."
Kem was pleased to see each night’s performance filled with community support.
“Without an audience, there would be little reason to perform,” Kem said. “And the warmth our patrons bring to our performances is both appreciated and gratifying.”Cast: