Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm

Club & Greek

Steel Magnolias Comes to Woods Theatre

Steel Magnolias Woods TheatreThe MU Players have been working hard to produce this year’s spring play, Steel Magnolias, at Woods Theatre.  With a few weeks until showtime, the cast and crew have spent weeks rehearsing.

The play for Steel Magnolias was written in 1987 by Robert Harling and has since been adapted into a film starring Dolly Parton, Sally Field, Julia Roberts, and more in 1989.  The play is about the bond of six women in Northern Louisiana.  Shelby Eatenton-Lacherie, performed by sophomore TV/Radio student London Jones, goes into Truvy’s beauty salon on her wedding day.  Truvy is played by Erin Clemente.  There, are frequent customers Clairee, played by Kara D’Antoni, Ouiser, played by Rachel Wilson, and new beautician Annelle, played by Katie Roeder.  Lastly, Shelby’s mother, M’Lynn, played by Sam Truglio, arrives in the shop, and the six of them discuss big topics, like ugly marriages, violence, and child-rearing.

Directed by John Burke, Ph.D., Director of Theatre Arts and Associate Professor, is happy with the result of his students’ work so far.  “I chose this play because there a lot of moments that have to be just right,” said Burke.  “The students have been learning as they go.”

D’Antoni, a senior communication student, has had to practice her Louisiana accent for this role.  “We all listened to previous actors’ performances of each role and how they captured these characters,” she said.  “It’s been a lot of trial and error, but we’re getting stronger with it.”

The elaborate set of a 1980’s beauty salon was constructed by technical designers Fred Del Guerico and Rusty Carroll and features swivel barbershop chairs, racks of vintage hair products, and a nostalgic and dizzying paint job.

Jones, who plays betrothed Shelby, is making her lead actress debut at Monmouth with this role.  “I went to a vocational high school, and studied theatre for two hours daily,” said Jones.  “This role is a lot of looking into myself.  Shelby is a passionate character; everything she does, it all comes from the heart.  I try to be the best version of myself for her.”

Anthony DeFillipis, a sophomore criminal justice student, is the assistant director for this production of Steel Magnolias.  This is his first production in the AD chair.  “I’m impressed on what the actresses bring to the table every day, improving the show day to day,” DeFillipis said.  “They work very hard to bring it to life and it really shows.  It’s going to be an amazing show.”

Burke finished by saying, “Steel Magnolias teaches us two lessons.  The first is we all should take care of each other and help each other.  This group of women are supporting each other through dark times. The second lesson is about unlikely comradery.  These characters come from different financial levels, education levels, and marriage situations.  They complement each other.”

Steel Magnolias will be performing at Woods Theatre from March 6-10 and then March 12-14.  Tickets can be purchased on Monmouth’s website or by calling the Box Office at 732-263-6889.

Be sure to follow the MU Players on Instagram @Mu_players to stay up to date with the cast!


Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151