Two Stokes County residents with lengthy credits in local theatre will be front and center as the NoneSuch Playmakers present the popular comedy-drama “Steel Magnolias” at the Arts Place of Stokes on May 19 at 7 p.m. and May 20 at 4 p.m. The Arts Place is located at 502 N Main Street in Danbury.
Billie Jo Smith of King plays the part of Truvy Jones, the sassy owner of the beauty shop where the play is set. Smith has been active with the Playmakers for several years, appearing in the group’s touring productions throughout northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia. Her credits include featured roles in “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” “An Evening on the Titanic,” “The Case of the Disappearing Doctor” and “Charlie America.”
Smith originated the role of Truvy for the Playmakers in their 2013 production of “Steel Magnolias.”
The role of Ouiser Boudreaux, the loveable curmudgeon of “Steel” is played by Jane Tucker of Hart’s Store. Tucker boasts a long resumé of acting credits locally, including “Beauty and the Beast,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “A Bad Year for Tomatoes,” “Stop the Press,” “On Golden Pond” and most recently, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” She was in the Playmakers’ 2013 production of “Steel Magnolias” as well, again as Ouiser.
Rounding out the cast of six in “Steel” is Jessica Llewellyn as the timid, troubled Annelle Dupuy, Truvy’s assistant; Cindy Southern Marion as the wealthy but down-to-earth dowager Clairee Belcher; Olivia Jessup as fragile young bride-to-be Shelby Eatenton; and Angela Llewellyn as Shelby’s mother M’Lynn Eatenton.
“Unlike the film version, the play never leaves the confines of Truvy’s shop,” said Brack Llewellyn, the production’s director. “The audience learns about the other characters through the spirited conversations among the six women. We also get to experience the special bond they share. Inside this tiny beauty shop is a sisterhood that is unique, strong and unwavering. The “Magnolias” are different from each other in many ways, but they come together when their lives take unexpected and sometimes traumatic turns.”
“Steel Magnolias is a special piece of theatre,” Llewellyn continued. “It very deftly touches the funny bone and the heart strings. At one point Truvy says, ‘laughter through tears is my favorite emotion,’ and we hope the audience will share that experience. The NoneSuch Playmakers are proud to bring this modern classic to the Arts Place of Stokes.”
Brian Greene and Kristie McMillan are the production stage managers. Madison Mallory and Jake Pack are the running crew. The voice of the play’s radio announcer is Todd Jessup.
Tickets are $12 General Admission, $10 SCAC Members and $5 for student K-12. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. Concessions are available for purchase benefiting the Stokes County Arts Council Scholarship Fund. “Higher Grounds” will be open with full menu available for purchase, as well as “Artist’s Way Bakery and Café” for dinner on Friday evening and lunch on Saturday before the performance, all here on the arts block of Danbury. For more information, please contact the Stokes County Arts Council at (336) 593-8159 or visit our website at www.stokesarts.org.