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Small town charm on tap for TCC’s spring production of “Steel Magnolias”

Tidewater Community College Theatre will present “Steel Magnolias” for three weekends in April. Opening night is on April 13 with shows running through April 29.

All performances will be held in the Black Box Theater in the Academic Building on TCC’s Chesapeake Campus, 1428 Cedar Road.

“Steel Magnolias” is a stage play by American writer Robert Harling. It is a comedy-drama about the bond among a group of Southern women in northwest Louisiana. The title suggests the female characters are as delicate as magnolias but as tough as steel.

TCC Theatre’s “Steel Magnolias” is set in a small-town beauty shop on the wedding day of one of its favorite patrons, Shelby Eatenton.

Shelby, a young and pretty diabetic, enjoys sharing her excitement with the other woman who meet regularly to chat and gossip about men, marriage and the latest hairstyles. The women form a sense of community that is both warmly good-natured and delightfully real.

Performance dates and times are:

  • April 13-15 at 7:30 p.m.
  • April 16 at 2 p.m.
  • April 20-22 at 7:30 p.m.
  • April 23 at 2 p.m.
  • April 27-29 at 7:30 p.m.

The play is a community effort with TCC students and community members serving as cast and crew. All are dedicated to sharing live theatre with attendees.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students, seniors, alumni and military members. Payment is by cash or credit card at the door. The box office opens 45 minutes prior to show time. To purchase tickets online, visit

For more information, call Matthew Gorris, assistant professor of Theatre Arts, at 757-822-5219.

TCC to hold open auditions for “Steel Magnolias” on Feb 22 and 23

Tidewater Community College’s Theatre Department will hold open auditions for “Steel Magnolias,” this year’s spring production.

Auditions will be on Feb. 22 and Feb. 23 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre in the Academic Building on the Chesapeake Campus, 1428 Cedar Road.

Each audition will take about five minutes, and roles are available for 6 actors and several understudies. Actors should prepare a one-to-two-minute contemporary monologue that shows their range. Participants are encouraged not to use any accents. 

Rehearsals will begin March 13 and will run Monday – Thursday from 7 p.m. -10 p.m.

The show debuts on April 13 and runs through April 29th. Evening shows and Saturday matinees will be held.

“Steel Magnolias” is set in Truvy’s beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies who are anybody come to have their hair done. Helped by her eager new assistant, Annelle, the outspoken, wise-cracking Truvy dispenses shampoos and free advice to the women of the town. The play moves toward tragedy when, in the second act, the spunky Shelby (who is a diabetic) risks pregnancy and forfeits her life. The sudden realization of their mortality affects the others, but also draws on the underlying strength—and love—which gives the play, and its characters, the special quality to make them truly touching, funny and marvelously amiable company in good times and bad.

The cast for “Steel Magnolias” includes:

*Truvy – 40ish and owner of the beauty shop
*Annelle – 19 and beauty shop assistant
*Clairee – 66ish and widow of the former mayor, Grand Dame
*Shelby – 25 and the prettiest woman in town
*M’Lynn – 50ish and Shelby’s mother
*Ouiser – 66ish and a wealthy curmudgeon

To secure your audition time, and receive your audition packet, please email Heather Williams, stage manager, at Please include a headshot, resume and any date conflicts you may have.  Preference will be given to actresses with the fewest conflicts. 

To express an interest in a technical position and for more information about TCC’s Associate of Applied Science in Theatre Arts, contact Professor Matthew Gorris at 757-822-7041 or