Although best known for its movie version starring Dolly Parton and Julia Roberts, the 1987 stage play is still popular today and has frequent productions mounted throughout the
Steel Magnolias is a story of the friendship of six southern women who share their secrets and a spritz of gossip and throw themselves open to each other. Every event in their lives, from the mundane to the essential, is faced with grace, strength and perfectly done hair. In the face of tragedy, they turn to Truvy’s hair salon and each other for solace and support. Steel Magnolias is a celebration of love, loyalty, strength and the bonds of sisterhood.
The title refers to the seemingly frail Southern belles who survive any and all deprivations through wills of iron. “Steel Magnolias is a walk through the misconceptions of feminism,” says Couch. The student actors are learning about life, as well. “They are assertive with their education, and they are beginning to synthesize feeling with the academics,” says Cathy Springfield, director for performing arts at Xavier. Some of the student actors are in a play at Xavier for the first time and some are in a role for the first time. Student Michael Roberts is taking on the role of Ouiser, portrayed by Shirley MacLaine in the movie version.
Cheryl Maxine Couch (Director) is a director, actress, writer, teacher, and private drama coach with over twenty-seven years of professional experience. In 1990, she received an M.F.A. in directing from the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music. Over the past few years she has helped develop and direct new works. She has taught children’s and adult classes at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Northern Kentucky University, Cincinnati State, Xavier University, Schilling School for the Gifted, The School for Creative and Performing Arts, and Covington Independent schools. She directed the original ETC intern shows Raw Revealed, Pulse, and Rebels with a Cause (also featured as part of the Fringe Festival). This is Cheryl’s third year directing at Xavier. Her prior shows include How I Learned to Drive, Death and the Maiden and The Lion in Winter. Cheryl has also served as an adjunct theatre instructor for Xavier.
On opening night of Steel Magnolias, March 6 at 6:30 p.m. the Xavier Red Hat Society will host a Hat and Glove Party. A red armadillo cake as featured in the play will be served, made by “Take the Cake” in Northside. Alumnae Liz Thompson ’00 and Katie Marx ’00 are coordinating. Although admission to the Hat and Glove Garden Party is free with a purchased ticket to the play, reservations are required so we may plan accordingly - please phone
It is the philosophy of the Xavier Players to combine real-life experiences in the form of cast service projects that relate to the issues presented in their plays. The Players believe it is in this act of service that one truly become socially aware. Xavier, as a