Laugh and Love Along with the Ladies of Avon Players in Steel Magnolias

Sass, Style, and Sisterhood Bloom in this Comedy-Drama

Avon Players kicks off its 2018-2019 season with a celebration of the strength of female friendship in a play that is equal parts hilarious and touching, Steel Magnolias running September 7-22.

The cast of Avon Players’ production of ‘Steel Magnolias.’
Photo Credit: Bryan Clifford.

Truvy Jones (Lia Difonzo) runs a successful beauty salon out of her home in Chinquapin, Louisiana, which serves as the regular gathering place for the ladies of the neighborhood. Along with her anxious and eager new assistant, Annelle (Emily Locke), Truvy styles the hair of Clairee (Joy Oetjens), a wealthy widow and former first lady of the town; Ouiser (Judy Privasky), the local curmudgeon; M’Lynn (Lesa Bydalek), a strong, stubborn career woman and mother; and Shelby (Alana Ballantyne), M’Lynn’s daughter, who is preparing for her wedding as the play opens. As time passes, the women bond and bicker over life’s many challenges: old rifts and rivalries, Annelle’s search for an identity of her own, and Shelby’s desire to have a child in spite of a medical condition that would make a pregnancy risky. Throughout, all six women evoke the symbolic duality of the play’s title, at once gentile and delicate as a southern flower but, ultimately, deceptively strong inside.

Playwright Robert Harling was inspired to write the play by events in his own family and based the character of Shelby on his sister. The play enjoyed an Off-Broadway run before being adapted into the much loved 1989 film starring Sally Field, Dolly Parton, and Julia Roberts, for which Roberts earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.   

Tickets for all shows are $18. Call 248-608-9077 for tickets or order online at Group rates are available by calling the box office. “Like” Avon Players Theatre on Facebook for special offers on tickets. Visa and MasterCard are accepted. All seats are reserved. Show dates and times follow:

  • Friday, September 7               8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 8          8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 9             2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, September 14             8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 15         8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 16            2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, September 21              8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 22         8:00 p.m

Founded in 1947, Avon Players is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit community theatre located along the winding banks of Stoney Creek in the quaint Historic District of Rochester Hills, only about two miles from the heart of downtown Rochester. Avon Players has been performing shows in its unique A-frame theater since 1965. With ticket prices set at a fraction of those at professional theatre (plus free parking and concessions on a donation basis) a family of four can experience a sensational live theatrical event for about the cost of one ticket at a “downtown” venue. And for regular theatre-goers, an affordable outing can be an even better bargain by taking advantage of Avon Players’ season ticket packages, which yield discounts of up to 21% per ticket. Additionally, season ticket holders enjoy priority seating selection and voting privileges in Avon’s annual “Stoney Awards.” Additional information regarding tickets and productions is available by calling the Avon Players box office at 248-608-9077 or by visiting their website. 

Cast and Production Staff by Community:

Mariana Gabriel (Make-up Design)

Mark Misch (Producer)

Judy Privasky (“Ouiser Boudreaux”)

Rochester Hills
John (JD) Deierlein (Lighting Design, Set Design)

Louise Holoday (Hair Design)

Michelle Kaiser (Costume Design)

Nick Kibler (Sound Design)

Betsy Labick (Properties Design)

Emily Locke

Dan Romzek (Director)

Joy Oejtens (“Clairee Belcher”)

Ray Township
Anne Curtis (Set Dress)

Royal Oak
Jan Pareyt

Shelby Township
Alana Ballantyne (“Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie”)

Lesa Bydalek (“M’Lynn Eatenton”)

Sterling Heights

Lia DiFonzo (“Truvy Jones”)

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