Theatre alumni return to university stage for "Steel Magnolias"

Release Date: 3/27/2013

Several University of the Ozarks' alumni dating back to the 1970s will join current students in the University Theatre production of "Steel Magnolias" April 18-20 in the Seay Theatre.

The play is a Cecil and Ruth Boddie Farmer Theatre Production and will be held in conjunction with the university's 2013 Alumni Weekend.

The house opens for seating at 7 p.m. on April 18 and 19, and at 2:30 p.m. on April 20. Tickets for the play are $8 each and can be purchased at the box office on the day of the event or you can purchase tickets online in advance. Tickets purchased online will be available for pickup at the box office of the day of the performance.

Written by Robert Harling and directed by U of O Walton Professor of Theatre Bruce B. Brown, "Steel Magnolias" is a comedy/drama that is set in Truvy's beauty salon 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 40 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.

The cast includes Ardith Morris '74 as Ouser Boudreaux, Jeannie Denniston '73 as Clairee Belcher, Ginny (Myers) Sain '95 as M'Lynn Eatenton, Erin (Fuller) Hagar '09 as Truvy Jones, Jenava (Moreau) Harris '10 as Annelle Dupup-Desoto, and current U of O freshman Annie Williams as Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie. Grace Harnish '09 will serve as the production stage manager.

For more information on the play, please contact the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts at 979-1349.

Cast of "Steel Magnolias."

Several alumni of the theatre program will join current students in the University Theatre production of Robert Harling’s “Steel Magnolias” April 18-20.