Milwaukee Rep's 'Steel Magnolias' Bring Hope Back to Theater – Shepherd Express

Oct. 21, 2021
9:55 a.m.
Image courtesy Milwaukee Rep
On Tuesday, Nov. 9, Milwaukee Repertory Theater will warm audiences’ hearts with Steel Magnolias, a play about six small town Southern women who gather each week at their local hair salon to gossip, laugh, and support each other through life’s twists and turns. The play is by Robert Harling and will be directed by Milwaukee native Laura Braza, who plans to spark hope among the community through this production. 
“The hopefulness of [Steel Magnolias] is really exciting to me, especially right now,” Braza says. “I think what’s cool about doing it right now is that I am certainly in a place of wanting hopeful, redemptive stories and I think this is such a joyful, hopeful celebration of a story.”
After over a year of being trapped inside and feeling disconnected from others, Braza says Steel Magnolias is the perfect play to put on for audiences. The play emphasizes just how important safe spaces throughout the community are and how wonderful friendships with neighbors can be. This hilarious story of love and loss will show audiences that a sense of community is truly something to be cherished. 
Braza adds that her theater community was something she desperately missed throughout the height of the pandemic. She says being back at Milwaukee Repertory Theater and directing a play that is so reflective of the Milwaukee community feels right. 
“There’s something really special about the community that’s formed when you’re making a play and when you go see a play. I’ve missed that so much,” Braza says. “I can’t wait to be with an audience again and in a room with actors and stage managers and all of the other artists we get to work with again.”
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“Ultimately, this is a play about how there is this magical place, which is Truvy’s Beauty Salon, where six women from different generations and different walks of life can let their hair down. We get to see them in their private state in a public place,” Braza continues. “I think there’s something cool about a piece where so many of us know the movie, but we haven’t had the experience of living these moments in a room with someone and that’s what’s so special about seeing this in a theater.”
Steel Magnolias runs Nov. 9-Dec. 5 at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, 108 E. Wells St. For tickets, call 414-224-1761 or visit Audience members ages 12 and older will be required to be fully vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the performance date.
Oct. 21, 2021
9:55 a.m.
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