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Steel Magnolias

The Hoskins Centre - TAS

Directed by Mark Bourne

Produced by David Trestrail

Director’s Note

Welcome to Louisiana y’all and the home of the women of Steel Magnolias.

This script has been on my list of “must direct” plays for a long time and I am thrilled to finally be offering it for your enjoyment. Many people know the very successful movie version, but the play came first and Robert Harling wrote it as a tribute to his sister who, like Shelby, fought a long and difficult battle with diabetes. Over thirty years later, his tribute is still regularly performed by theatre societies around the world and I think that is because Steel Magnolias is about more than just diabetes. It is about female friendships and the support and humour that they offer each other through good times and bad. It is about their ability to laugh through the tears and find joy in their deep affection for each other.

It is about the strength of women, their ability to offer that strength to each other in times of crisis and use that same strength to face tough decisions and strive for true happiness. I grew up in a largely female family and these are all characteristics that I recognise and which resonate with memories from my childhood and many friendships over the years.

The play offers six challenging roles for actresses that are all drawn with warmth and depth. Even 30 years later, that is not as common in a script as you would expect and yet another example of what makes Steel Magnolias so special. In bringing this play to the stage, I have been working with a fantastic cast who have shown a dedication and enthusiasm for the production that has made it a wonderfully rewarding experience and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them and the entire Production Team and crew for their invaluable contributions.

“ I’d rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special” – Shelby

Mark Bourne – Director

Steel Magnolias was originally presented at the WPA Theatre in New York City on March 22, 1987.

Cast of Characters

Truvy Jones – Tracey James,

Annelle Dupuy-Desoto – Ruth Strutt,

Clairee Belcher – Leonie MacGregor,

Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie – Jessica Vince-Moin,

M’Lynn Eatenton - Carol Elder,

Ouiser Boudreaux – Marney Tilley


Truvy’s Beauty Spot, Chinquapin, Louisiana - late Eighties

Act 1
Scene 1: April

Scene 2: December

Act 2

Scene 1: June, eighteen months later

Scene 2: November

Production Team

Director: Mark Bourne

Producer: David Trestrail

Stage Manager: Ben Bible

Publicity: Marney Tilley

Lighting Design: Anthony Carlon

Lighting & Sound: Anthony Carlon

Front of House Manager" Rene Dasey

Costumes: Mark Bourne, David Trestrail

Wigs: Mark Bourne, Lindy Hardman

Stage Assistants: Jeremy Stibbard, Kathryn Smith, Geneva Stocker, Katherine Stevenson, Crystal Brunyee

Costume Assistant: Annie Keoghan

Set Construction: Pat Bradley, Neil Horton, Roger Horton, Mark Bourne, David Trestrail, Anthony Carlon, Ben Bible, Marney Tilley, Leonie MacGregor, Carol Elder, Jessica Vince-Moin, Rachel Horton

The Production Team for Steel Magnolias would like to express their heartfelt appreciation to the following people for their generous contributions towards the show:

New England Building Recyclers

Image 2 Dye 4


Armidale Private Hospital

Ben Abbott

Kelly’s Transport - Mick Kelly

Mike Gibson

All of our Front of House Volunteers

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