Steel Magnolias


Ali Richardson, Reporter

Lights, Camera, Action! On Saturday, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd, a group of SES high school students performed Steel Magnolias under the direction of Mr. Anderson.

The play is set in Louisiana, and follows the life trials and tribulations of six women: Truvey Jones, (Junior, Sherida Johnson) Shelby Eatenton, (Sophomore, Kennedy Stumpf) M’Lynn Eatenton, (Junior, Isabelle Christensen) Ouiser Boudreaux, (Junior, Mara Mondt) Annelle Dupuy, (Sophomore, Kipra Reed) and Clairee Belcher (Junior, Addison Gottschalk).

The play begins with the women getting ready for Shelby’s wedding at Truvey’s beauty salon. From there, the women go through their own individual struggles, but get through them with the support of each other. 

Shelby is a diabetic, but this does not stop her from wanting a child of her own. Shelby’s mother, M’Lynn, is struggling with the idea of Shelby wanting a baby because of the health risks. Annelle, Truvey’s new beautician, is new to town and trying to find her place within her church and the close-knit group of friends. Ouiser, the grumpy old neighbor of the Eatentens, is lonely with only the company of her dog and group of friends. Clairee, the late mayor’s wife, is struggling with becoming a widower. And Truvey, the salon owner, is having difficulty with her adult children leaving home and her indifferent husband.

Some time passes in the play, and the women face their conflicts. Shelby has a baby boy, Jack Junior, born prematurely; this causes harm to her kidneys so Shelby begins dialysis. M’Lynn decides that she wants to be able to give Shelby her kidney in an attempt to save her life. Annelle becomes very religious and has also found a boyfriend. With unwanted nudging from Shelby, Ousier tries to find a man. Clairee takes a trip to Paris to get away for a while, and Annelle moves in with Truvey, which helps Truvey’s house feel less like an empty nest.

At the end of the play, Shelby’s body rejects her mother’s kidney, and she passes away. M’Lynn, trying to stay strong, breaks down, wondering why Shelby had to go before her. Ouiser, Clairee, Annelle, and Truvey are all there to support M’Lynn and help as best they can. The play ends with Annelle, who has recently become pregnant, deciding boy or girl, the baby will be named in honor of Shelby.

Many hours of hard work went into the production of this play. During the week leading up to the play, practices went from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM. “The practices were long,” said Kennedy Stumpf, “But overall I think that the play came together nicely, and I was really happy with the outcome.”