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Southern mettle on display in Apple Hill's production of 'Steel Magnolias'

Patrick Varine
| Monday, May 14, 2018, 2:03 p.m.
Apple Hill Playhouse in Delmont
Apple Hill Playhouse in Delmont

Strong bonds of friendship among a group of genteel Southern ladies will take center stage in June as Apple Hill Playhouse presents “Steel Magnolias.”

The daily trials and tribulations of the ladies who gather at their friend Truvy's beauty salon form the backbone of Robert Harling's 1987 play, set in the fictional northwest Louisiana parish of Chinquapin.

“This show has heart, humor and a great story,” said director Matt Mlynarski, 30, of Lower Burrell. “Those are three of the most important things I look for when deciding whether or I want to apply to direct something.”

Mlynarski said “Steel Magnolias” is an ideal show for him because he finds female characters so compelling.

“With an all-female cast, it means that I really have to get inside the heads of these women and work to tell their story, which isn't always easy,” he said.

Imparting a sense of collaboration and trust in his actors is most important.

“You can just tell an actor what to do, but it will fall flat if they don't understand why,” Mlynarski said. “You need to help get them there and listen to their insight on the way.”

Mlynarski said he was gifted with an overabundance of talent in the lead roles.

“I had over 50 women come out (to audition) for this show, and the six women I have are all outstanding, and some of the best talent in the area,” he said.

The show will run at 7:30 p.m. June 7 to 9 and 14 to 16, with a 2 p.m. matinee June 10.

Tickets are $15 for Thursday shows and $20 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows.

For more, see .

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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