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‘Steel Magnolias’ to bloom Wednesday

Thirty years ago, “Steel Magnolias” hit the big screen.

However, before it became a blockbuster hit, it was a stage play, and beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Westside Theater Foundation will present Robert Harling’s “Steel Magnolias.”

The story is based on a true account of the playwright’s sister, Susan, who died of type 1 diabetes two years after giving birth to her son.

“Harling wrote the play as a way to cope with her death,” Stacie Schrader said, as well as a means for his nephew to know how special his mom was.

Schrader is serving as the director of the local production and is also cast in the show.

“This is my second time to direct the play and my second time to be in the show,” Schrader said.

The first time the VTG offered the play was about six years, ago, and Schrader said she portrayed the role of Shelby, who is the character that is Harling’s sister.

In this performance, Schrader said she plays M’Lynn, Shelby’s mother.

Schrader said the reason in offering “Steel Magnolias” at the WTF for a second time was two fold.

“The cast had been talking to Jack (Burns, who is the show’s producer) about wanting to do the play,” Schrader said, and also because of the anniversary of the release of the movie. 

Schrader said the show is cast “really well” making rehearsals easy.

In addition to Schrader, cast members are Renee’ Irons who plays Ouiser, Eleana Davis who plays Clairee, Jai Dobson who plays Truvy Jones, Tori East who plays Annelle and Alexandria Richardson who is cast as Shelby. 

“My favorite thing about the show is that it is an all female cast and there is no lead role,” Schrader said, meaning all of the cast members have about the same number of lines in the show.

There are some differences in the movie and stage production, Schrader said, one of which is in the play the entire show is set in Truvy Jones’ beauty shop.

“But all the great lines from the movie are in the play,” Schrader added.

In addition to the opening night’s show, which will begin at 7:30 p.m., “Steel Magnolias,” will also be offered at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

A matinee performance will also be offered beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday.

All shows will be held at the Strand Theatre, 717 Clay St.

Tickets are $15 in advance at the Highway 61 Coffeehouse or online at BrownPaperTickets.com or $20 at the door.

For more information, visit the WTF’s Facebook page.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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