STEEL MAGNOLIAS Opens Next In Florida Rep's 21st Season

Florida Repertory Theatre presents "Steel Magnolias" by Robert Harling, a heartwarming comedy about the power of friendship to kick off the 2018-2019 Season in the Historic Arcade Theatre.

Playing October 19 - November 7, the run includes four nearly sold out preview performances October 16-18 and features three Florida Rep ensemble members, Rachel Burttram, Sara Morsey, and Patricia Idlette, alongside three actresses making their Florida Rep debuts.

"This is a perfect play to kick off our season in the Historic Arcade Theatre," said Interim Artistic Director, Jason Parrish. "Robert Harling wrote this play for his sister and based the character of Shelby on her, and the result is moving, uplifting, and incredibly funny. These now iconic characters came out of Harling's childhood in the south, and are a true love letter to the strong women who raised him, the power of love, and the American South. It will be a thrill to bring Shelby, M'Lynn, Clairee, Ouiser, Annelle, and Truvy to life for our audiences - and to create a working beauty shop on the Arcade Theatre stage!"

"Steel Magnolias" by Robert Harling is the inspiration for the now classic 1989 film about the enduring bonds of female friendship. At Truvy's salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, six women gather to swap stories, share gossip, and of course, have their hair done. But when tragedy strikes, the women prove they can weather any storm as long as they're there to lift one another up.

Florida Rep ensemble member Rachel Burttram is set to play beauty shop owner, Truvy Jones, ensemble member Sara Morsey returns after a season away from the Rep as the acid-tongued, Ouiser Boudreaux, and ensemble member Patricia Idlette will play the quick-witted, former town first lady, Clairee Belcher. Amy Tribbey joins the three as M'Lynn, Betsy Helmer as Annelle, and Alison Campbell as Shelby. Tribbey is a regional theatre veteran whose appearances include Paper Mill Playhouse, the Hangar Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, and the recent Broadway run of Gore Vidal's "The Best Man," as well as a recurring role on HBO's "The Americans." Helmer's recent credits include Salt Lake City's Pioneer Theatre Company and Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and Arizona-based Campbell appears after a season with Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota.

Interim Artistic Director and ensemble member, Jason Parrish will direct "Steel Magnolias," and leads a creative team that includes ensemble set and lighting designer Jim Hunter ("The Miracle Worker"), sound designer Katie Lowe ("Becoming Dr. Ruth"), costume designer Brad Musgrove (Florida Rep debut), and ensemble stage manager Janine Wochna ("Cabaret").

"Steel Magnolias" is generously sponsored by Emily Eason, the Kearns Restaurant Group, and media sponsor TOTI Media Group.

Tickets are $55 and $49 for regular performances and $35 and $29 for discounted previews. Single tickets are available online at www.FloridaRep.org and through the box office at 239-332-4488. Subscriptions start as low as $150 for six plays and offer the best seats and the most significant savings, and are available through the box office.

Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 10 AM - 5 PM. New this season, Florida Rep's parking lot will open 2 hours before each performance and offers guests limited free parking across the street from the Arcade Theatre.

Florida Repertory Theatre performs in the Historic Arcade Theatre and the ArtStage Studio Theatre on Bay St. between Jackson & Hendry with limited free parking in the Fort Myers River District. Visit Florida Rep online at FloridaRep.org, and by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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