Popular Play Kicks Off Diverse ACTC Theatre Season



From a Louisiana beauty salon to the wintry streets of England to the imaginative minds of fourteen new playwrights, the Ashland Community and Technical College Theatre department has a little something for everyone in store this year.

When the curtain rises on ACTC’s 2016-17 theatre season, a golden oldie from the 1980’s will take the spotlight. Students, faculty, staff and community members are about to bring the classic “Steel Magnolias” live to the J.B. Sowards stage.

Robert Harling’s “Steel Magnolias” play was such a hit in 1987 that a movie version was as in cinemas just two years later, a rarity. Three decades later the star studded film is still popular and the stage play remains one of the most often performed by community and educational theatres nationwide.

The play is presented at ACTC by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, which describes the plot this way: “Concerned with a group of gossipy southern ladies in a small-town beauty parlor, the play is alternately hilarious and touching—and, in the end, deeply revealing of the strength and purposefulness which underlies the antic banter of its characters.”

ACTC’s version is directed by longtime Fairview educator and theatre stalwart Jim Maggard and features some of the area’s best onstage and behind the scenes. Tiffany Jobe, Shelby Tyler, Susan Durisoe, Manda Neal, Holly Edwards, and Lisa Wallin make up the cast of Harling’s eccentric ladies. The production team features Tyler Bradley, Carly Newsome, Gregory Picklesimer, Keri Jones, Sarah Diamond Burroway, Julian Thigpen, and more.

“Steel Magnolias” will be performed Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1 at 7PM each night and Sunday, October 2 at 2:30PM. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 seniors/students/children and ACTC faculty/staff, or $8 per person, groups of ten or more.

“Steel Magnolias” is the first of three shows ACTC will present during the 2016-17 academic year. The school’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol”, also directed by Jim Maggard, will be presented in early December with auditions open to all mid-October. And the Fourth Annual New Play Festival of Student Written Work will take the stage in early April. Auditions for that will be in February.

So head on down to Truvy’s Sept. 30, Oct. 1, and Oct. 2. It is, after all, where anybody who is “anybody” comes to get their hair done. It kicks off a pretty exciting year of theatre, as well.

For more information about ACTC Theatre events and how to get involved, e-mail Jonathan.joy@kctcs.edu or sarah.diamondburroway@kctcs.edu.

*This article originally appeared in the September 20 edition of the Greater Ashland Beacon newspaper.