The Stokes County Arts Council will host a theatrical production of “Steel Magnolias” on May 24, 25 and 26 at King Central Park.
The Stokes County production is directed by Justin Bulla. He said of the play, “It’s something everyone can relate to. Everyone knows the movie and can identify with it.”
A movie with the same title starred Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton, Sally Field, and a host of other popular actresses and actors. This movie version stemmed from the play that was written by Robert Harling.
Bulla’s cast and crew have been rehearsing three to four times a week since late February in preparation for the production. The set at the King Central Park amphitheatre took 22 hours to build one weekend with the help of volunteers.
A production like this takes a lot of work. Bulla said, “People don’t realize that unless they are part of it.”
Bulla continued, “Everyone has to pull their own weight … At the end of the day, we have this fabulous show. It can only come off if everyone is working together.”
Harling wrote the play in the mid-1980s as a memorial to his sister, who is represented in the play by the character Shelby. It was written after his sister died from complications with a kidney transplant. But Bulla says the play is not just a memorial to Harling’s sister. It is a story about every woman.
Bulla said, “These characters are lovable … We’re emotionally invested in these characters.”
As the director said, the women are actually as tough as steel and as delicate as Magnolias.
All of the actors in the Stokes County production are really great, Bulla said.
“These ladies bring their own traits to make these characters work for them,” he remarked. “They do an absolutely amazing job.”
Steel Magnolias will be the 20th play Bulla has directed and the 40th he has participated in. Last year, Bulla put on “Beauty and the Beast” at South Stokes.
Bulla said of Steel Magnolias, “This show is going to be the precipice of community theater in Stokes County and where we want to go. From here on out, it’s only going to get better.”
King Central Park is located at 302 Kirby Road in King. Showtimes are at 7 p.m. on May 24 and 25 and 3 p.m. on May 26. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students ages 6-18. Please bring your lawn chairs and blankets for seating. Concessions will be available for purchase.
The performance is sponsored by the Stokes County Arts Council, Flow Chevrolet, Mayor Jack Warren, Dr. Mark Johnson, Ty and Arden Browder, Kenny and Linda Lane, Richard and Nancy Markle, Stokes County Economic Development, Town & Country Grille’ and 93.1 The Wolf.
For additional information or advance tickets, contact the Stokes County Arts Council at 336-593-8159 or visit www.StokesArts.org.