Central Presents “Steel Magnolias”

M’lynn (senior Layla Bannerman) is comfoted by her friend Clairee (senior Ana Bennett) at Truvy’s Salon.

November 16, 2022
By Rachel Scofield

This weekend, Pickerington High School Central (PHSC) Theatre will present Steel Magnolias at the school’s Performing Arts Center.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:00 pm with a Sunday matinee at 3:00 pm.

Steel Magnolias is a beautiful story about six women living in a small town in northwest Louisiana,” said Lucy Theado, the junior who plays Ouiser. “It takes place in a beauty shop, run by a welcoming and loving woman named Truvy. The play goes through four different seasons of these women’s lives and demonstrates how their average lives in the 80s are so special. It more specifically follows the trajectory of a young woman’s life. This young woman is named Shelby and the audience gets to see her true self as she struggles with diabetes.”

Shelby is the daughter of M’lynn, a pillar of strength portrayed by Senior Layla Bannerman.

Bannerman said that the women “encounter tragedy which brings them much closer to each other in the end.”

Senior Ana Benton, who plays Clairee, believes the play is about “the power of women standing together through thick and thin. People will enjoy seeing the familial bond these women have despite their differing personalities and backgrounds. I also think they’ll enjoy each characters sense of humor.”

Senior Court Ballenger plays Truvy , the owner of the salon which brings the women together.

Ouiser (Junior Lucy Theado) gives Annelle (Senior Mekhiah Ellis) and
Clairee (Senior Ana Bennett) the side-eye as they laugh at her expense.

Ballenger said, “People will enjoy seeing this play because it’s so real and could be relatable to people’s real struggles in life and it’ll also give people some laughs along the way.”

The original production of the play opened in 1987, and a movie version was released in 1989.

PHSC Director Aileen Targett said, “There is something wonderful about a community of women both celebrating each other’s joys and holding each other up through hard times. The past few years have shown the beauty of communities coming together through impossibly hard times and the power of unconditional love. 

Steel Magnolias celebrates the deep innate power of women, the very title alludes to the perceived softness of women with the juxtaposition of their “steely” inner strength.”

Central’s next big musical will be The Addams Family, March 16-19 and the first annual 24 Hour Play Festival will be April 21-22. Central will host a Murder Mystery April 28-29 and will perform The Last Five Years at a date yet to be determined.

Tickets cost $12.00 and may be ordered online at the Pickerington Local School District Box Office.