The Company Theatre's STEEL MAGNOLIA'S Director Will Bring His Hometown Of Natchitoches To Norwell

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The Company Theatre's STEEL MAGNOLIA'S Director Will Bring His Hometown Of Natchitoches To Norwell

The Company Theatre has announced its upcoming production of Steel Magnolias, which ties the bonds between a group of Southern belles as they support one another through life's trials and tribulations. The play served as the inspiration for the 1989 hit movie of the same name.

Steel Magnolias takes place in a small Louisiana town. Based on real characters, the story follows six women who, maybe flowery on the outside, but are made of steel on the inside. Playwright Robert Harling penned the play as a tribute to his sister, mother, and the exceptional women who supported them during his sister's final days battling complications from Type 1 diabetes. The play debuted off-Broadway in 1987 and was turned into a major motion picture in 1989.

Hailing from Natchitoches, the small Louisiana town where this touching true story unfolds, director Johnny Nichols Jr. found himself deeply frustrated by the way previous adaptations of this play had depicted his hometown and the South in general. Seeing The Company Theatre's ad seeking a director for the play, he felt compelled to throw his hat in the ring.

"This story is the cornerstone of Natchitoches and very dear to my heart," said Nichols. "I wanted to represent the town's unique perspective in the most authentic way possible. Directing this play is a way to be at home without taking the trip."

Director Nichols' personal touch is evident throughout the production. Beyond bringing the clever banter and hilarious moments to life, he and the cast have explored the deeply moving life challenges the play presents. Nichols will even call a friend or two from Louisiana during rehearsal and have them pronounce certain words or phrases for the actresses. Everything has to be just right. The set replicates the actual garage where Truvy had her salon off of her house, and Nichols has provided local posters and other decor to add to the set dressing.

Nichols also made sure the cast and production crew were introduced to Louisiana cooking to ensure they were immersed in authentic Southern cuisine. Dishes of alligator, crawfish, and Natchitoches' other claim to fame, meat pies, were flown in and prepared by Johnny.

"Johnny's connection to the story is apparent in every detail of the production," said president and co-founder Zoe Bradford. "His enthusiasm for his hometown, and all things uniquely southern, has inspired the cast and crew. His passion for storytelling combined with his down-home sensibility is sure to be entertaining, as wit and wisdom come to life on stage."

Steel Magnolias opens Friday, February 7, and runs through Sunday, February 16. There are evening and matinée performances available. Tickets are $30. For a complete list of showtimes, to purchase tickets, or for more information, visit or call the box office at 781-871-2787.

The Company Theatre entertains, enlightens, and energizes audiences with high-quality productions. Five theatrical productions and several special event programs sell 35,000 tickets annually. Through its Academy, The Company Theatre inspires students from young to old in the art of the performing arts. For information on programming or classes, visit the

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