“Steel Magnolias” Takes Stage at Tupelo Community Theater

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TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – A well-known movie is coming to the stage in Tupelo.

The staging of “Steel Magnolias” follows the story of the well-known film, with a few changes.

“There are no men in the stage production, so these male characters are all offstage and the whole play takes place in the living room, Truvy’s living room,” Jonathan Martin said.

Martin is production manager of TCT’s “Steel Magnolias”. He oversees a cast and crew of over twenty people and says there was a lot of interest in the play.

“Of all the shows I’ve run it was the busiest casting we’ve had, over seventy people auditioned for those six roles. It was a series of tough choices, we think we we’ve been very lucky with the cast people, they’re hysterical and just hit the right emotional notes too, it’s a really wonderful piece,” Martin said.

Becky Shaffer plays Truvy Jones, the owner of Truvy’s Salon, where the play takes place.

The story follows the lives of six southern women, who share the valleys and peaks of life and who also know how to carve and have a good time.

“It’s kind of the ultimate female story, friendship, overcoming tough times, doing it with friends, I’ve watched it for about 20 years I would say, so to be a part of it is really exciting, and this cast is beautiful and we formed a bond, much like you do in the beauty salon,” Shaffer said.

Maddie Ludt plays Shelby Eatenton, soon to be Latcherie.

She says there are many challenges portraying such well-known characters in an iconic film, especially when it comes to the role of Shelby, who has diabetes.

“Obviously it’s a challenge to meet everyone’s expectations for the characters since they’re played by such beloved actresses in the film. But there are zingers, if you’ve seen the film you’ll recognize some lines, so it will be nice for the audience, it’s also a challenge to portray someone who has a disease but is so independent,” Ludt said.

Steel Magnolias runs through Saturday at the Lyric Theater.

Tupelo Community Theater’s next production will be “Shrek Junior.”

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