Act II Playhouse Presents ‘Steel Magnolias,’ Beloved Story of Female Friendship

steel magnolias
Image via Performing Arts DUMC at YouTube.
Although not a shot from the Act II Playhouse production, this set and cast from an Dunwoody, Ga. production gives some indication of the story's screen-to-stage adaptation.

Act II Playhouse, Ambler, announces its latest production, the beloved Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling.

The production is an Act II Playhouse premiere and runs Jan. 31 to Feb. 26.

The Los Angeles Times has called the play “A southern recipe served up with love.”

Set in a small town in Louisiana, Steel Magnolias centers on the customers of Truvy’s beauty salon, the hub of all gossip where it’s dispensed as freely as the shampoo.

Here we meet the town residents, an eclectic cast including:

  • The newly-hired salon assistant
  • A soon-to-be-married bride
  • Her concerned mother
  • he town’s cantankerous elder

Though this diverse group may seem delicate as flowers, the audience soon learns that the bonds forged in the salon chair are strong as steel.

Steel Magnolias, the inspiration for the celebrated 1989 film, is an audience favorite and guarantees laughter and tears in equal measure.

“With sassy one-liners, great character connections, and an unexpected cathartic release, Steel Magnolias will play beautifully in our intimate space. Our patrons will be smiling one minute, crying the next,” said Artistic Director Tony Braithwaite.

The Act II production features a cast including Sabrina Profitt, Kelsey Hébert, Mary Carpenter, Jenna Kuerzi, Carolyn Nelson, and Penelope Reed.

Profitt and Reed are returning to Act II having previously appeared in productions during the 2022–2023 season.

Profitt starred alongside Tony Braithwaite in Neil Simon’s, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, and Reed starred as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in the one-woman production, Eleanor.

The rest of the cast make their main-stage Playhouse debuts.

Steel Magnolias‘ production crew comprises the following:

  • Megan Bellwoar, director
  • Paul Dake, stage manager
  • Seana Benz, assistant stage manager
  • Meghan Jones, scenic designer
  • Janus Stefanowic, costume designer
  • Bridget Brennan wig designer
  • James Leitner, lighting designer
  • Andrew Meinhart, technical director
  • Adam Danoff, sound designer
  • Kelly Palmer, prop designer
  • Alice Dake, scenic painter
  • Philadelphia Scenic Works, set constructors

Ticket prices start at $32 and are available online at the Act II Playhouse website, by calling the Act II box office at 215-654-0200, or in-person at 56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler.

The box office is open Mon–Sat, 2–6 p.m.

Student tickets are $15, and group discounts are available.


Curious how Steel Magnolias translates from screen to stage? This video demonstrates one way it was done in 2022 in Waterford, Ireland.

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