Maltz Jupiter Launches Season With ‘Steel Magnolias’

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Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

The Maltz Jupiter Theatre opened its 2018/19 season with long-time favorite “Steel Magnolias” (Oct. 28 to Nov. 11) by Robert Harling who observed and experienced the love often found in constructed families – evidenced by the six women who gather regularly at Truvy’s beauty salon.  

In addition to Tony Award nominated director Marcia Milgrom Dodge, the six women actors are Annelie – Taylor Jackson; Clairee – Alison Fraser; M’Lynn – Crista Moore; Ouser – Barbara Bradshaw; Shelby – Paige Silvester; Truvy - Kim Cozort Kay. 

The production also includes an entire team of women in the major artistic roles from costume design to set design and everything in between. The credits, nominations and awards are too many to list here.

“Steel Magnolias”continues to resonate so strongly with audiences because it’s a play about family. That’s never going to go out of style,” Milgrom Dodge said. "Some families are created biologically, and other families are made up of people who give each other permission to be themselves. Totally. The women in ‘Steel Magnolias’ share their deepest pains, their momentous joys and their heaviest burdens, creating everlasting friendship."

SFGN had the opportunity to delve a little further into Milgrom Dodge’s thinking. 

Is art “art” or is there male flavored art and female flavored art and if so, what are they and are they noticeable to the audience?  The play was written by a man.   Did he capture the feminine feel – if there is one?  Or is that something that you bring to the production as a female director?  Are there subtleties our audiences might look for to enhance their experience watching these six women create family?

Art is Art. Robert Harling wrote an authentic, deeply personal play in response to losing his sister way too young.  He wasn’t approximating a female sensibility, he was channeling it.  We’re welcomed into Truvy’s Salon to peek in on six wonderful women sharing life’s highs and lows through laughter and few tears. The dialogue crackles with great humor and Southern charm.  What I bring to the proceedings is my own personal connection to the material, my vast experience in getting manicures and facilitating collaboration with like-minded theatre-folk.

In the age of “Me too,” the Maltz Jupiter Theatre seems to stand out as a supporter of women in theater as evidenced by this production of Steel Magnolias, which shows the natural result of Andrew Kato consistently supporting women in theater? 

Andrew whole-heartedly championed the idea of gathering a strong group of designing women for our production. I thought it would be a great occasion for this awesome team to explore the play sharing our individual experiences, much like the characters in the play. The age range of our team is 20s-70s, just like the characters in the story. We think it’s pretty cool.

Your extensive resume suggests that you have probably experienced discrimination and possibly sexual harassment.  Is this so and can/might you share how it may have figured in your career?

Equality in the workplace is an ongoing struggle.  The glass ceiling was/is a real thing and we’re taking care to make sure our daughters reach their goals with parity.

Any thoughts you’d like to share with readers about the production?

It’s a real treat to watch this amazing cast tackle these iconic roles.  Come to the Maltz Jupiter Theatre for an A+ theatre experience-- you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh/cry!

Tickets start at $60. For tickets and show times, call 561-575-2223 or visit JupiterTheatre.org.


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