A&E Writer

Steel Magnolias
Karen Hille Phillips Studio Theatre (Black Box)
7:30 p.m. March 6, 7, 13 and 14
2 p.m. March 15

steel colorThis week, the Pacific Lutheran University theatre department debuts its production of “Steel Magnolias,” an inspirational story about life’s value and the resilience of companionship.

Set in the mid 1980s, “Steel Magnolias” chronicles the tribulations and triumphs of five women over the course of three eventful years. The play highlights values such as friendship, humor and hope in spite of tragedy.

“Steel Magnolias” was written by Robert Harling in 1986 as a way for him to come to terms with the death of his beloved sister. The play was popularized by the 1989 film of the same name, featuring acclaimed actresses Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton and Sally Field.

“[Harling] found that, as a playwright, he could illustrate how the women [in his sister’s life] used humor in the face of sorrow,” director and assistant director of theater Lori Lee Wallace said.

“Steel Magnolia’s” is being produced by the drama department in an attempt to bring the play’s sentiments of compassion and support to the PLU community. The play also presents the unique opportunity of featuring a predominantly female cast, as all of the main characters are women.

“We thought the community would like to see the talented women in our department shine in an all-female cast,” Wallace said.

Wallace also believes that the audience will form strong connections to the characters that these female actors will portray.

“The characters are not just women that Harling knew […] they are our own friends, sisters, mothers and daughters,” Wallace said. ◼︎

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