Kentucky Wesleyan College’s Wesleyan Theatre Works will present “Steel Magnolias” Nov. 16-18 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. in the Ralph Fine Arts Center.
Based on the real-life family of playwright Robert Harling, the story goes beyond Southern charm to the heart of a mother-daughter relationship and the bonds of friendship and support among women. Originally a play before it was a hit movie, the action is set in Truvy’s beauty salon in Chinquapin, La., where all the ladies who are anybody are clients. Filled with hilarious repartee and not a few acerbic but humorously revealing verbal collisions, the play moves toward tragedy when, in the second act, the spunky Shelby, who is a diabetic, risks pregnancy and forfeits her life. The sudden realization of their mortality affects the others and draws on the underlying strength and love which give the play and its characters special qualities to make them touching, funny and marvelously amiable company in good times and bad.
The play is directed by senior theatre major, Alison Miller ’24, who says, “I am so proud of the hard work and dedication of these actors. They make me cry happy tears.”
Haley Matthews ’26 plays Ousier and says she is having fun with her character. “I really enjoy the comedy. I get to let out my inner sarcasm.”
Ashely Butler ’26 plays Shelby and reflects, “The lines are so funny; I don’t have to fake laugh.”
Josephine O’Toole ’26 as Claree says, “I love this character. It’s like getting to play Willie Wonka if he were an old lady in the 1980s.”
Prices are $18 general admissions, $12 for any student and $15 for KWC staff and faculty. Tickets can be purchased at kwc.edu or, if not sold out, at the door.