Steel Magnolias

Steel Magnolias
Posted on 11/29/2017
Steel MagnoliasSteel MagnoliasThe play “Steel Magnolias” is one of Victoria Perry’s favorites. In fact, it’s the second time the Nacogdoches High School theater teacher has put on the production of Robert Harling’s story based on the author’s real life experience of losing a sister to Type 1 diabetes.

Harling’s play premiered in 1987, and two years later a feature film starring Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Shirley Maclaine, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton and Daryl Hannah hit the big screen.

The NHS production will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the auditorium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the curtain goes up at 7. Tickets are $5.

The cast includes Caitlyn Kirchman in the role of M’Lynn, Meagan Coffee is Truvy, Jeannie May Smith is Annelle, Lexi Weems plays Louisa (or, Ouiser), Nicole Bowman is Clairee, and Emily Boyland plays Shelby.

The production crew includes Madison Milstead as stage manager, and Matthew Clark as assistant stage manager. Jack Norman operates lights, Adrian Pitts has sound and River Delcambre runs the curtain. Carly McCarty handles props used during the play, and Shelby Schmid is the run crew head. The run crew includes, Kassidy Richardson, Chandler Harkness, Brooke Bridges and Emmanuel Gomez. Vannessa Guardado is in charge of hair and makeup.

Harling’s story is set in a fictional Louisiana town and examines the relationships of a group of women and how they handle the death of one of their own.

Some of the student cast and crew were acquainted with Harling’s work before rehearsals on the play got underway  in September.

“I was extremely familiar with it,” Caitlyn said. The film is a family favorite, she said, something her mother wanted her to watch, which she eventually did.

One of the crew working behind the scenes - Shelby Schmid - is named for the character being portrayed onstage by Emily Boyland.

“I hope it makes us cherish each other more,” Emily said when asked what she hopes those attending the three showings take away from the performance.

“It’s a challenging show for them,” Perry said during a break in rehearsals. “It’s all natural acting… there are no site gags or big explosions to hide behind. It’s just good acting.

“You have to have really good actors for this show.”

With the exception of Nicole, who’s a freshman, the remainder of the cast is made up of sophomores and seniors that have already participated in Perry’s productions.

The show will require some quick wardrobe changes, Perry said. There are three times in the play where the change must happen in no more than 30 to 40 seconds.

NHS art teacher Amanda Heron helped modify some of the costumes by adding things such as snaps to help speed up the process of changing, Perry said.

An intermission will allow for more alterations to things such as hair, Perry said. She expects each night’s performance to wrap up around 9 p.m.

Next semester, Perry’s troupe will perform a play she wrote herself, “The Tomb of Semele,” adapted from the Greek tragedy, “The Bacchae” by Euripides.

The University Interscholastic League considers “Semele” to be an original work and approved it as an official UIL script on Oct. 4.

“Semele” will be the troupe’s One-Act Play production for UIL competition and will come with all the action normally associated with the genre.

“I like to being able to give them a completely different performance experience,” Perry said.

Which, for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, is a story set in the south, complete with comedy and drama.