Paper Bag Players go south with Steel Magnolias

The Paper Bag Players are going to the south. Their spring production is Steel Magnolias, Robert Harling’s play about the bond between a group of women in a small Southern town.

Director Leanne Keys said that this play was one of her ‘bucket list’ plays, and one that they knew a lot of people would be a bit familiar with and want to see performed.

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“Annelle is one of my favorite characters, she just plays so innocent throughout it.”

But the real excitement for the group isn’t the play, but the audience, and seeing how they respond to what they see on stage.

“To know that this is a story of mothers and daughters, not only that, but friends, and friends who feel like family, the audience’s reaction to that, I’m interested to see that.”

The trip down south means that everyone in the cast gets to try out a southern accent. Keys notes that one cast member went down south for a vacation and possibly a bit of research.

“She said ‘we’re doing really great, everybody’s got their accents perfect.’”

This year’s cast consists of Jamie Corden, Christine Bradley, Teresa Weber, Tami Hall, Sandra Stokes and Ashley Lazurko. It’s a mix of veterans of the Paper Bag Players stage and new members, which Keys said has been a great mix, with new energy and ideas mixing with wisdom and experience.

“It’s good to have a mix of energy.”

This year’s play is about more than the performance, but also supporting one of their own. Earlier this year, club president Lynn Nightingale suffered a stroke in February, and profits from the play will go to support her and fiance Aaron Nagy as she recovers.

“It means a lot for the Paper Bag Players to support one of ours. That’s the way we have always run it, when someone is in need we step up.”

The play takes place May 31 and June 1 at the Sacred Heart Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 and available from the cast, at the door, or online at

“It’ll be a fun time, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, then you’ll go home and call your mom,” concluded Keys.

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