Students (from left) Jessa Demere of Somerset, Ky.,
Ashley Graves of Lancaster, Ky.,
Amelia Withers of Jamestown, Ky., Danae Wesley of Bowling Green,
Ky., and Meagan
Ray of White Mills, Ky., rehearse a scene from Steel
Magnolias in the Norma & Glen
Hodge Center for Discipleship.
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Part of the Lindsey Wilson
College A.P. White Campus will be transformed into a Southern
beauty parlor from Nov. 18-20 when the Lindsey Wilson Players
perform the popular Steel Magnolias.
Directed by Robert Brock of Kentucky
Repertory Theatre at Horse Cave, Steel Magnolias --
which is part of the 2010-11 Lindsey Wilson Cultural Affairs Series
-- will be performed at 7 p.m. CT from Nov. 18-20 at the Norma
& Glen Hodge Center for Discipleship.
Written by Robert Harling and first produced Off-Broadway in
1987, Steel Magnolias takes place at Truvy's beauty parlor
and the women who regularly gather at the Northwest Louisiana
establishment. The play -- which was turned into a critically
successful 1989 film -- features the friendship between six women
at the beauty parlor.
Brock -- who is directing his second play at Lindsey Wilson --
said he selected this play because of its popular appeal and the
"It has six really good roles," said Brock, who is artistic
director of Kentucky Repertory Theatre at Horse Cave. "Also, I
thought it might be a play that would involve the community because
of its name recognition. As we move the college's theater program
forward, we need to not just be a college theater but one that
brings in people from around the area, and this seems like a really
good play to do this with."
Although many people are familiar with the film adaptation of
Steel Magnolias, the play's themes of tolerance and
diversity resonate much stronger.
"When you do a movie from a play or book you've got to cut a lot
of stuff, and I think some of the stuff they trimmed out of the
story was some of the really beautiful stuff," said Brock, who has
also directed the play at Kentucky Repertory Theatre at Horse Cave.
"There is a tolerance of diversity in the story, and that is a big
part of the message of this play."
Steel Magnolias also resonates with audiences because
of the relationships among the characters.
"It's the camaraderie that also appeals to people," Brock said.
"The beauty shop is a safe haven for these women -- it's a place
where they can not just be themselves but where they can take care
of each other. It's a place where whatever they have got or
whatever is in their life with other people, it is accepted. It's a
healing place. And I think (the students) are finding that, they
are connecting to that aspect of the shop and what that means."
One of the students with whom those themes have resonated is
Sarah Cason of Crestwood, Ky., who plays M'Lynn, mother to the
"It's a very deep play so there's a lot of hardcore acting,"
said Cason, who is appearing in her fourth LWC play. "It's been
stressful, but it's been a lot of fun because the play has a lot of
Steel Magnolias is the second Brock-directed play for
"It's really awesome to be in a play directed by Robert," she
said. "It's unreal to work with someone like him. He's opened us up
to so many opportunities that we didn't realize existed as
Steel Magnolias will be performed at 7 p.m. CT from Nov.
18-20 at the Lindsey Wilson College Norma & Glen Hodge Center
for Discipleship. Directed by Robert Brock, the play's cast is:
Sarah Cason of Crestwood, Ky. (M'Lynn); Jessa Demere of Somerset,
Ky. (Shelby); Ashley Graves of Lancaster, Ky. (Ouiser); Meagan Ray
of White Mills, Ky. (Clairee); Danae Wesley of Bowling Green, Ky.
(Annelle); Amelia Withers of Jamestown, Ky. (Truvy). For ticket
information: firstname.lastname@example.org or (270) 590-4803.
Watch a video about the production of Steel