‘Steel Magnolias’ marks art center’s return to indoor theatre

Oct 17, 2021

MARION — The Marion Art Center made its return to indoor theatre with “Steel Magnolias” this weekend. And for the intimacy of a story about female friendship told through the lens of a beauty salon, a small indoor theatre does just the trick.

The story follows six women in a series of slice-of-life scenes, each skipping an indiscriminate amount of time from the last.

Brianna Rosario, who played Shelby Eatendon-Latcherie, said the first few nights of the show were “really good,” adding that “it’s fulfilling.”

Margo Ruggerio, playing Shelby’s Mother M’Lynn, said after the performance on Oct. 16 that it was great to be back in the theater again.

“I feel blessed to be able to be on stage again,” she said.

Rosario added that being able to perform to an in-person audience without masking or special stage blocking was a breath of fresh air.

“Being able to be free is wonderful,” she said.

While the performers were unmasked for the show, every attendee had to remain masked, and provide proof of covid vaccination or a recent negative test at the door.

While the play is about the friendships of women, the actors said its playwright Robert Harling was unhindered in his ability to portray those friendships.

“For a man to actually capture the true relationships of women is amazing,” Rosario said.

“Steel Magnolias,” directed by Jennifer Palmer, runs again next weekend, with shows on Oct. 22, 23 and 24. For tickets, go to marionartcenter.org.