Steel Magnolias Celebrates Spirit, Value of Female Friendships at The Phoenix Theatre Company

The Phoenix Theatre Company

At Truvy’s beauty shop, the motto is: no one should have to cry alone. Through clouds of hairspray and the buzz of blow dryers, audiences at The Phoenix Theatre Company will get the chance to meet six outspoken southern women who gather weekly to gossip and support each other through life’s ups and downs. Steel Magnolias runs Aug. 18 through Sept. 12 at the Hormel Theatre.

Set in northwestern Louisiana’s most famous beauty parlor, where life is anything but boring, anybody who’s anybody gets their hair done at Truvy’s Beauty Salon. Here Truvy dispenses shampoos and free advice to a group of eccentric characters. Steel Magnolias follows six friends over the course of several years as they face life’s challenges and find comfort in one another. As the title suggests, the characters are as delicate as magnolias, but down deep are as tough as steel.

“Many people are familiar with the movie Steel Magnolias, but the play is notable for having one setting, Truvy’s beauty parlor, an all-female cast, and witty, biting lines,” said Karla Koskinen, director. “Audiences are quick to embrace the play and the characters as the show deals with life and death and the value of true friendship. This play demonstrates the importance of living in the moment and appreciating what you have, because you never know when life will change.”

Steel Magnolias was written by Robert Harling, who based the story on his experience with his sister’s death at a young age because of diabetes complications. The play, which debuted on Broadway in 2005, received a Drama Desk Award nomination, and the popular film adaptation was nominated for an Academy Award and two Golden Globes in 1989.

Koskinen has directed professionally for more than 25 years at theatre companies across the United States. She is also a professor of drama and directing at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Cast members include Elyse Wolf as M’Lynn Eatenton, Michelle Chin as Annelle Dupoy-Desoto, Maria Amorocho as Clairee Belcher, Patti Suarez as Ouiser Boudreaux, Jodie Weiss as Truvy Jones and Emily Mohney as Shelby Eatenton Latcherie.

This is the fourth show produced indoors at The Phoenix Theatre Company since the start of the global pandemic. Currently, the theatre is no longer requiring vaccinated audience members to wear a mask. Masks are encouraged for those who are not vaccinated and those who feel more comfortable masked. Seating is not socially distanced. Safety protocols will continue to be updated to ensure patron and staff comfort and wellbeing.

Tickets for Steel Magnolias are on sale now. To purchase call (602) 254-2151 or visit

The Phoenix Theatre Company is the largest professional regional theatre company in the state. As the first arts organization in Arizona and a founding member of the Central Arts District, The Phoenix Theatre Company is committed to advancing performing arts in the Valley with nearly 500 performances each year on multiple stages. Located at 1825 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix, The Phoenix Theatre Company’s mission is to create exceptional theatrical experiences by using the arts to articulate messages that inspire hope and understanding.

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