Hug High Harlequin’s Present: Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias

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Zoe Mansfield, Arts and Culture Editor

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The Hug High Harlequins are performing the play Steel Magnolias on October 1-4, 2019. 

Steel Magnolias was written by the American playwright Robert Harling in 1987. It is a comedy- drama detailing the lives of a group of Southern women and how they cope with the death of one of their close friends. 

In addition to being a well written play, the characters are nearly all women, which lends itself to the current makeup of the theater program. “We lost a lot of men this year,” says Ms. Cellucci, the director. Dilsiakarisma Barros Perez will be playing Truvy Jones, the owner of a local salon in the town of Chinquapin, Louisiana. Her assistant Annelle will be played by Samia Taylor. Isaiah Cruz will be playing the wealthy wife of a politician in Chinquapin, and Damiah Martin will be portraying Ouiser Boudreaux.  M’lynn and her daughter Shelby will be played by Emma George and Ariana Garcia, respectively. 

Ms. Cellucci, the theater director for the spring plays and musicals, said she chose Steel Magnolias because “ It is so well written’” and includes “some of the best one-liners ever.” The 2019-2020 school year is her last year at Hug. Cellucci’s goal for her final year is to “ just go out on a good note.” She also noted that she directed the play in her early years as a director, and putting on a production of it at the end only seemed appropriate as a finale to her career at Hug High School. 

There is an incredible amount of time and effort put into each semester’s performance- learning lines, blocking scenes, making sets, doing tech for each performance. Each member of the cast and crew has their work cut out for them this semester. Steel Magnolias has been made into a film as well as having been performed on Broadway

When both students in drama and Ms. Cellucci were asked about the importance of being in theater, their overwhelming response was that it was a safe place for students to express themselves and push their own boundaries. Emma George plays the role of M’lynn in Steel Magnolias and has been in various theater programs since the age of eight, said that theater has  “been a big part of my life. It was a place to escape, and be accepted for who I was as a person… I find family through each theater program that I do.”

However, theater doesn’t solely enrich the lives of those who participate in productions. Ms. Cellucci notes that it also is beneficial for the audience, and “gives [the student body] to see a mainstage production, opening their eyes to a world they may not otherwise be exposed to.”

Check the Arts and Culture section of the Hawkeye for more updates on the Hug High production of Steel Magnolias.