‘Magnolias’ blossoms as THS’s inaugral play

By: James Cassar
THS’s drama department kicked off with its production of Steel Magnolias, a spectacle into the lives of six females and their inseparable friendship through very pressing situations. Originally produced as an off-Broadway play, it was also adapted into a 1989 film with an all-star cast including Julia Roberts and Dolly Parton.
            Set in 1980s Louisiana, Steel Magnolias chronicles the lives of six women who convene regularly at a local beauty salon. The play focuses around Shelby, one of the younger women in the group, who gets married, has a baby, and unfortunately has to be granted a kidney transplant before the curtain falls. As these events take place, the bond between the friends grows ever stronger, all set to a soundtrack straight from the 80s, with the Bangles and Cyndi Lauper taking top bill.
            Mr. Daniel, the head of the drama department and the production’s director, chose ‘Magnolias’ because he was unsure how large the interest in theater would be at Tuscarora. “[‘Magnolias’] is a personal favorite of mine, and I was interested in working with a small and largely female cast.” Regarding the final product he said, “I think the audience’s response to it has been positive. I’m sure people who have seen the film had high expectations going in, and I think the strong characters the girls created met them.”
            From a backstage view, ‘Magnolias’ was a success as well. From set construction, to makeup, to lighting, the tech crew also performed as well as the actresses – clocking in several hours of work to make an appealing and impressive end result. “The ‘techies’ put in a lot of work for this play. If they’re not pleased with the outcome, they certainly should be! They did an amazing job and I’m very proud of them,” says Matt Busbee, a THS junior and the production’s stage manager.
            Opening on November 11th to a modest crowd, ‘Steel Magnolias’ was positively received. It closed on November 13th to a significantly larger audience, and although Saturday’s performance signaled an end to this specific production, it started off a brand new and bright future for the Husky drama department.