Steel Magnolias may be one of the most honest portrayals of female friendships brought to stage,” voices Jo Yadanza, co-director of the Wilde Coward Company’s latest production.  WCC, based out of New Smyrna Beach, is staging an intimate portrayal of Robert Harling’s perennial classic April 8-10, and 15-17 at their studio in Venetian Bay.

Set in Chinquapin, Louisiana in Truvy Jones’ beauty salon, the audience gets to enjoy the highs and lows of six phenomenal women.  Steel Magnolias has been performed thousands of times across the country, as well as in Ireland, Sweden, and Japan.  It has been made into an award-winning motion picture, two television productions, and multiple runs on Broadway.  “This story is enduring,” says Yadanza.  “Anyone can relate to friendship, family, comedy, tragedy.  It’s got it all.”

Steel Magnolias does have it all, including six fiery personalities that stand out in an ensemble cast.  “Each role is a bucket-list role,” says Rosemary Shaw, Daytona, “I’ve personally wanted to play Ouiser Boudreaux forever.”  The cast is made up talented ladies across Central Florida, all fans of the well-known play.  They’re also a wide range of actors, from newcomer Hannah Hendrickson to veteran Rockie Kobrin.  A few are WCC alumni, such as Suzanne Pieri, with a couple of new faces like Missy Barnes.

And while they’re all fans of the film, they’re definitely bringing their own spin to the play.  “For those who have only seen the movie,” another cast member Larissa Roberts, Deland says, “The stage play has a little more insight.  Some more tidbits into these women’s lives.”  It’s deeply moving and funny, and perfect for the intimate setting WCC has chosen for it.  They’re transforming one of their studio rooms into Truvy’s beauty shop, bringing the audience in close for all the gossip and fun.  It will be held blackbox style with limited seating for the six performances.  Staff members of the Wilde Coward Company are recommending tickets be purchased ASAP so as not to miss its short run. 

This warm and touching production of Steel Magnolias will be staged at the Wilde Coward Company in Venetian Bay, NSB from April 8-10 and 15-17.  Fridays and Saturday performances are at 7PM, Sunday matiness at 2PM.  Tickets are only $15 adults, $12 students, and can be purchased online at, or by contacting their box office at or 386-227-7444.