STEEL MAGNOLIAS by Robert Harling
Directed by Pam Dougherty
Audition dates: December 11 & 12, 2023, 6:30pm
Performance dates: February 10, 11, 16, 17, 18
Welcome to Truvy’s Beauty Stop in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies who are “anybody” come to have their hair done. Helped by her eager new assistant, Annelle (who is not sure whether or not she is still married), the outspoken, wise-cracking Truvy dispenses shampoos and free advice to the town’s rich curmudgeon, Ouiser, ("I’m not crazy, I’ve just been in a bad mood for forty years"); an eccentric millionaire, Miss Clairee, who has a raging sweet tooth; and the local social leader, M’Lynn, whose daughter, Shelby (the prettiest girl in town), is about to marry a “good ole boy.” 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, but also draws on the underlying strength—and love—which give the play, and its characters, the special quality to make them truly touching, funny and marvelously amiable company in good times and bad.
Truvy Jones - Owner of a small town beauty shop. She knows everyone's business and shares it with anyone who will listen. Southern Belle. She always has advice for you, and they often come in the form of country sayings.
Annelle Dupuy-Desoto - 18-25ish, very shy twenty-year-old hair-dresser. She goes from a very soft-spoken person to a bible-loving Christian with her heart on her sleeve.
Ouiser Boudreaux (pronounced "Weezer") - 60sih-year-old loveably miserable wealthy old biddy. Loud and obnoxious, her unique personality and sense of humor is a great relief in the serious scenes.
Clairee Belcher - 60ish-year-old widow of the former mayor of Chinquapin. She is wealthy and also knows everyone's business. She is the sarcastic member of the group. She loves to laugh and poke fun at the little things.
M'Lynn Eatenton - 50ish-year-old mother of Shelby. She is over-protective at times and finds the need to have a firm grasp on the world at all times. She is a busy woman who worries too much for her age.
Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie - 25ish-year-old diabetic daughter of M'Lynn. Prettiest girl in town, and loved by all. She has a weird relationship with her mother, and often rebels just for the sake of rebellion.
Please have a look at both the character descriptions above and the sides (snippets from the script used for auditions) provided below.
To get a better feel for who these ladies are, you might find it helpful to watch the 1989 movie (available on Netflix) or find some YouTube clips (though please note that our production will be guided by the script and the director, not the movie).
Updating or preparing an acting résumé is helpful, particularly if you've never auditioned with us before, and/or if you have more than a few theatre credits. We've put together an optional template on Google Drive. Copy and use as you wish: Audition Resume Template*
Gather a list of ALL schedule conflicts between Dec 18 and Feb 18. This is important. The director will cast the show and create a rehearsal schedule based on provided conflicts. If you are cast, it is your obligation to adhere to the rehearsal schedule once it is set.
“Harling has given his women sharp, funny dialogue…The play builds to a conclusion that is deeply moving.” —New York Daily News.
“…a skillfully crafted, lovingly evoked picture of eccentricity in the small-town South…Robert Harling is a new voice in the theatre and the qualities of STEEL MAGNOLIAS suggest he may be an important one.” —Drama-Logue.
“…suffused with humor and tinged with tragedy.” —New York Post.