Steel Magnolias explores themes of resilience, love and friendship

Director Susan Wydenes (centre) gives cast members (clockwise from left) Michelle Lowe, Kaela Elliott, Michelle Segal and Shelagh Germyn some instruction during a rehearsal of Rivercity Players’ production of Steel Magnolias. Steel Magnolias plays the Rivercity Stage Feb. 12-16 and 19-23. Photo by Alistair Taylor
From left: Truvy (Kelly McDonald) and Shelby (Michelle Segal) listen to the latest gossip during a rehearsal of Rivercity Players’ production of Steel Magnolias.
Cast members (counter clockwise from left) Kaela Elliott (Anelle), Michelle Lowe (Clairee), Michelle Segal (Shelby) and Kelly McDonald (Truvy) rehearse a scene from Rivercity Players production of Steel Magnolias. Steel Magnolias runs Feb. 12-16 and 19-23 at the Rivercity Stage. Photo by Alistair Taylor
Ouiser (Shelagh Germyn) makes a point during a rehearsal of Rivercity Players’ production of Steel Magnolias. Steel Magnolias runs Feb. 12-16 and 19-23 at the Rivercity Stage. Photo by Alistair Taylor

Filled with humour and heartbreak, Rivercity Players’ production of Steel Magnolias will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

Steel Magnolias takes place in Truvy’s beauty salon in small town Chinquapin, Louisiana. Six witty and outspoken women tell their story of friendships, loves and losses, revealing their strengths and weaknesses through good times and bad.

Rivercity Players brings this play to the stage directed by Susan Wydenes. Wydenes has been active in Rivercity players and enjoys both acting and directing. This is her first time directing a full-length production.

Wydenes loves this play, with its strong themes of resilience, love and friendship, and she has a deep affection for the women it portrays. She has thoroughly enjoyed diving deeply into the Steel Magnolias script and nurturing her vision of the play.

When asked how it’s been directing this play Susan said, “It’s been wonderful so far. I have a dedicated cast who support each other and the vision of the play.

“ It has been exciting, even just halfway through to see the characters, the relationships and the story taking shape. We have a dedicated team supporting us as well and that has enabled us to focus on bringing the play to life.”

Kelly McDonald is excited to be playing Truvy. Steel Magnolias is one of her very favorite productions and she’s so thankful to Wydenes for casting her as the warm, sassy hairdresser. She can’t wait to bring you to Chinquapin Parish!

Kaela Elliott, playing Annelle, is making her stage debut with Steel Magnolias. Elliot is excited and honoured by this opportunity to become involved with community theatre at Rivercity Players and hopes to continue growing her passion for the arts.

Michelle Lowe, playing Clairee, has enjoyed performing in the arts since the age of 5. She has been a member of Quadra Players and Rivercity Players and, after a two-decade break from the stage, Steel Magnolias seemed to call to her to get involved again. Steel Magnolias is a production that Lowe is excited to be a part of.

Michelle Segal is playing Shelby. Steel Magnolias is her second play with Rivercity Players, having performed as Elvira in Blithe Spirit last year. She is thrilled to be back in such a timeless play. Segal finds acting a treat and serves up plenty of food for the soul.

Lynne Macara is playing the role of M’Lynn, she is happy to be appearing in Steel Magnolias again, after playing the role of Annelle in Rivercity Players’ first production of the play many years ago. She has enjoyed her backstage and onstage theatrical experiences in Campbell River over the past 30 years, and looks forward to the next 30 years. She has found this a great cast to be a part of, and is grateful for the hardworking production team.

Shelagh Germyn is thrilled to be in Steel Magnolias, playing the role of Ouiser. Her debut with Rivercity Players Theatre was back in the 1990’s, in a play called Rumors by Neil Simon. While her return to the theatre has been a long time coming, Germyn is excited to be back and to be working with a cast of talented actresses.

Steel Magnolias can be seen at Rivercity Stage, Feb. 12-15 and 19-22 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 16 and 23 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 and available online at rivercitytickets.ca or at Rivercity Stage on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.