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written by

Robert Harling


directed by

Rocky Shutter


Steel Magnolias is a classic play, loved by all.

Come join us in Truvy’s small-town Louisiana beauty salon where all the ladies who are “anybody” come to have their hair done, and where wisecracks and advice are dispensed as freely as shampoo. This stage and film classic brings us some of our favorite characters–Ouiser, Clairee, Annelle, and social leader M’Lynn, whose daughter Shelby is about to marry a “good ol’ boy.” Sharp, funny dialogue and a deeply moving conclusion.

Area Community Theatre Director Rocky Shutter is proud to announce the stellar cast for the theatre’s production of Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias. More than twenty- five talented women auditioned, and audiences will be thrilled with the final cast.

As the play opens in northwestern Louisiana, Annelle Dupuy (Christine Urmanski) a reserved beauty school graduate, is hired by Truvy Jones (Samantha Komay) to work in her home-based beauty salon. M’Lynn Eatenton (Andrea Ducklow) and her daughter Shelby Eatenton Latcherie (Allison Jacob) arrive to have their hair done for Shelby’s wedding. 

Tomah ACT

They are joined by Clairee Belcher (Emily Wall), the society matron and recently widowed wife of the former mayor of Chinquapin. Louisiana.   Shelby suffers a hypoglycemic episode due to her Type 1 diabetes, but quickly recovers.


Later Ouiser Boudreaux (Dr. Bridget Owens) a short-tempered, grouchy, and sarcastic community fixture arrives and interrogates Annelle to a point where secrets are revealed.  Annelle is spontaneously invited to Shelby’s wedding, and the story continues from there.


Set in the early 1980’s, Steel Magnolias is both a comedy and a drama as it recounts the real life story of a woman (based on Harling’s sister) who is a Type 1 diabetic and risks everything to give birth to her own child. The action takes place in Truvy’s beauty salon where all the ladies who are “anybody” come to have their hair done. The “regulars” share the message that women have an inner strength that is evident during good times as well as bad times.


Based on the family experience of the play’s author Robert Harling following the death in 1985 from diabetic complications of his sister after the birth of his namesake nephew and failure of a family member donated kidney. A writer friend following the death advised him to write it down to come to terms with the experience. He did but originally as a short story to give his nephew an understanding of the child’s deceased mother. It eventually evolved in ten days to a play performed Off-Broadway before being adapted for Steel Magnolias movie (1989).

Harling, maybe based on his short dry experience in the field of law felt it important to include the way the characters utilized humor and lighthearted conversations to cope with the seriousness of the underlying situations. Harling wanted the audience to have a true representation of what his family endured during his sister’s experience.

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