Little Theatre “steels” the show

By Janelle Harb

Features Editor

The stage is set and the lights are dimmed for yet another opening of a fabulous Little Theatre production.  As part of their spring roster of a contemporary play and a musical, Little Theatre will be performing the modern classic “Steel Magnolias” by Robert Harling at our very own Marie Maday Theatre in Lyons Hall, both this wee

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The stage is set in the Marie Maday Theatre

kend and next.  The “dramedy,” or comedic-drama, centers on “six very different women gather in the local beauty shop and share their troubles, hopes, triumphs and heartbreaks in scenes that take place over a few years time,” Eileen Dugan, director and Theatre Artist in Residence, explained.

After a day of auditions, six sophomores were chosen to fulfill the roles of these unique women. “I usually have actors read several times, sometimes for several different characters,” Dugan stated, “in this case, it was a pretty easy process, certain actors just seemed to fit the roles—the cast came together in my mind the first night we had readings.” Callie Keavey, who plays Clairee in the show, and is Vice President of Little Theatre, expressed, “it’s nice that we’re all girls, all sophomores, and that there’s so few of us, it really allows for a lot of bonding just like the characters in the show.”

The entire play takes place in a 1980s salon owned by Truvey, a middle-aged hair stylist, who is portrayed by Alyssa Kramer.  The startling blue interior, retro salon chairs, and checkered floor of the salon immediately transport the audience into this dazzling decade with ease.  “The past few weeks have been a lot of detail work,” Nick Morelli, the Tech Director, affirmed on refurbishing the set in 80s fashion, “we’re making sure everything is perfect for opening night.”

A little known fact is that everything onstage, except for the sink, is fully functional.  “We have all the hair salon equipment,” Morelli explained, “we’ve got chairs, a hair dryer that works, and a vanity that lights up.”  As a such an elaborate set to piece together within three and a half weeks, the actors and production staff have had to work even faster than ever before on a show, and have already devoted over 60 hours towards its construction, amongst schoolwork and other commitments.

“I’ve enjoyed directing this, because I enjoy the people in it,” Dugan affirmed, “and we’ve all really come to love the characters and story. There is so much humor in the play, and that’s always fun, and the dramatic bits are challenging, but the cast really are friends—they enjoy each other, support each other—that really helps them play the friendships in the play.

“It’s a funny, heart-warming, play that has been widely produced and that audiences have embraced for its memorable characters, humor and warmth,” Dugan concludes. “I think students will enjoy the story, have some laughs, and maybe shed a tear.” Come help support your fellow Griffs for a heartwarming show that is bound to make you cry in more ways than one.  The show will be February 25th-27th, as well as March 3rd-4th, at 8PM with the doors opening at 7:30PM, and also March 5th at 2PM, with the doors opening at 1:30PM in the Marie Maday Theatre in Lyons Hall.  Admission is free, and for ticket inquiries and reservations, email LTclub@canisius.edu.

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